Rubber Out-growers, Agents’ Association hold AGM
The biggest challenge facing rubber farmers in the country is stealing of cup lumps from the farms, Dr (Mrs) Mary Opoku Asiama, Western Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Saturday said.
She was speaking at the eighth Annual General Meeting of the Rubber Out-growers and Agents Association (ROAA) at the Apemanim near Takoradi.
The AGM was under the theme: “Grow more rubber trees to secure a sustainable future”.
Dr Asiama said this practice does not augur well for the desired sustainable future for members of the ROAA.
She said it was therefore a good idea that members of ROAA, who mis-conducted themselves, forfeited their bonuses for the year as a way of deterring others from getting involved in negative practices such as stealing cup lumps, seedlings and other vices.
Dr Asiama called on farmers to develop good investment plan for the revenues they generated from their farms to ensure secured and sustainable future.
She spoke of the need for proper land management and agronomic practices as more farmers joined the rubber out-growers scheme and a lot of land were being cultivated for rubber.
She said as a result of the oil and gas industry, a lot of dynamism and courage were required to promote sustainable agriculture.
Dr Asiama said development of agriculture was important because the nation needed food and crops and farmers needed income to better their livelihoods.
Mr Paul Appiah, General Secretary of the Association, said in 2010, the Association made a total expenditure of GH¢323,837.91 as against a total income of GH¢458,422.49 resulting in a surplus of GH¢134,584.59.
He said the capital assets of the Association totalled GH¢58,613.89.
Mr Appiah said theft cases in the rubber plantations were on the increase despite the numerous efforts made by the Association and the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) to bring the situation under control.
He said mining activities on rubber out-grower farms also continued to be a major challenge to the Association.