Cargill Ghana Limited disburses GH¢6m to 19,000 cocoa farmers

Cargill Ghana Limited has disbursed GH¢6 million to over 19,000 cocoa farmers for this year’s cocoa season through its Licensed Buying Company (LBC).

“This premium payment is part of strategies to incentivize farmers to adopt sustainable production practices and support their livelihoods in line with the Cargill Cocoa Promise.”

Mr Samuel Apana, Sustainability Country Lead, Cargill Ghana Limited, in a statement to the GNA in Accra said Cargill was working with Ghanaian cocoa farmers to implement a sourcing model that brings benefits to the sector.

“We are in our fifth year of sustainable cocoa sourcing under our unique sourcing approach, which combines new high-tech purchasing with the LBC model of direct sourcing and collaboration with farmers and farmer groups and I am happy to note that it is working well,” he explained.

Mr Apana said “Our gallant farmers have been at the core of this success story and we are working with them on a daily basis to ensure that our sourcing model does not only bring them income, but also contributes to sustaining their farms and livelihoods and the sector in general,”

Mr. Martin Anane, Cocoa Sourcing Director, CKSL, Cargill’s LBC, explained that the buying process is “fully e-money” which seeks to enable Cargill to pay farmers directly via electronic transfer.

“It is unique in the sense that it provides a high level of transparency, traceability and security for farmers, the LBC and other stakeholders. Leveraging on technology, 90 per cent of lead farmers have also been coached using mobile devices (tablets),” Mr. Anane noted

According to Mr Anane, a total of 30,000 cocoa farmers in 10 districts benefited from the Cargill Cocoa Promise sustainability interventions in Ghana.

He said with one-on-one coaching supported with Farm Development Plan, farmers’ professionalism increased, leading to improved productivity and ultimately higher incomes and better living conditions of farmers

Touching on the payment made to farmers this year, Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director (MD) of Cargill Ghana said that the figure represented a 12 per cent increase on the 2018/2019 cocoa season payment, which indicated the company’s progressing efforts at delivering increased value to the famers within its sourcing network.

The Managing Director said: “The impact of the Cargill Kokoo Sourcing model on the lives of farmers and their communities has been significant and this has reflected in the increasing number of farmers joining our network.”

According to him, Cargill was working with our non-profit and NGO partners around the globe to help address food security, health and safety needs and industry challenges due to the spread of COVID-19.

He said Cargill had committed $35million to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts through global and regional partnerships, product donations and employee personal giving adding that “our response is guided by our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.”

“We are inspired by the medical professionals, first responders, workers and farmers in our communities who are making sure our essential needs are met.

“Our thoughts are with all those who have been jammed by the virus as we continue to work with our partners on global and local relief efforts,” he added.

Commenting on the impact of the premium payment, the Chief Farmer, Solomon Duku expressed gratitude to Cargill for the support, adding that, the farmers would not renege on the relationship with Cargill.

“I have personally experienced tremendous value for my cocoa beans, and from the farmer livelihood interventions, farm development, community support and education on sustainable farming. I feel the same excitement with all the farmers, who sell their beans to Cargill. That is the reason we have chosen to remain loyal to Cargill and encourage all others who are not selling to Cargill to do same” said Mr. Duku

Commenting on the impact of the premium payment, Mr. Duku expressed gratitude to Cargill for the support, adding that, the farmers will not renege on the relationship with Cargill.

As part of the fulfillment of the company’s commitment to support the Government against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Cargill Ghana donated to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, assorted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth GH¢100,000.00.

Hand washing soaps, hand towels and ‘veronica buckets’ were given to some 30,000 cocoa farmers and 316 communities in cocoa growing areas in the Western North Region to educate farmers on the COVID-19 prevention protocols, especially the importance of hand washing.

Cargill Ghana also transmitted COCOBOD’s voice message of preventing the spread of COVID-19 to over 15,000 cocoa farmers to raise the awareness of the virus and sensitized them on handwashing, social distancing, and other hygiene protocols to prevent spread of the virus.

In Tema, where the Cargill Ghana Plant is situated, essential food packs were provided to over 1000 families during the lockdown, while PPE and Infra-red thermometers were also donated to the Tema Metro to be distributed to health facilities in the city.

In concert with the Ghana Free Zones Board, cocoa products were given to the Muslim Communities during the period of the Ramadan.

The staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research also received cocoa products as a sign of appreciation for the work they were doing for Ghana.

Cargill, which employs over 160,000 employees across 70 countries seek to work with the purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.

Source: GNA

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