Cocoa farmers have been assured to exercise restraint as they might no longer struggle to secure scholarships for their children in Senior High Schools (SHSs).
This is because when the government’s free SHS educational policy becomes a reality, it might cover all forms of scholarships including that of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) at that level.
Dr Nii Tackie-Otoo, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of the COCOBOD stated in response to a question about alleged unfairness in the award of the COCOBOD’s scholarships to farmers, during farmers’ sensitisation rally organised by his outfit at Danyame in the Dormaa Central Municipality.
Dr Tackie-Otoo added that the coming into being of the free SHS educational policy implied that students would be admitted on merit into schools.
He therefore advised the farmers to support and encourage their children who were Basic Education Certificate Examination prospective candidates to study seriously to obtain excellent results to get admission into schools of their choice in the coming years.
Dr Tackie-Otoo entreated farmers who had been leaving their cheque books with purchasing clerks (PCs) to stop the practice and keep them in their own custody.
He noted that keeping them in the custody of the PCs had been one of the causes for some of the farmers, especially those in the remote farming communities not getting the COCOBOD scholarships for their children.
Dr Tackie-Otoo explained that some of the seemingly unscrupulous PCs used the books to fraudulently secure scholarship deals for otherwise unqualified people to the detriment of the real beneficiaries.
He asked farmers to exercise restraint as government was still working with a special committee including representatives of farmers concerning the determination of the producer price of cocoa.
Mr Iddrissa Quattara, the Dormaa Central Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said government was committed to sustaining interventions like the mass cocoa spraying exercise and provision of fertilisers to cocoa farmers introduced by previous governments to boost cocoa production.
Mr Quattara appealed to farmers and other agents who had been smuggling agro-chemicals and other farm inputs supplied free by government to markets in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire to stop it, warning that when arrested, offenders would be dealt with according to the full rigours of the law.