It said the use of the Akuafo cheques should also be made mandatory for all Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs).
This move, according to the farmers, would enable them to derive maximum benefits from their hard work.
At a stakeholders’ meeting on Cocoa Payment Systems in Accra yesterday, the National Chief Farmer, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, indicated that the current cash payment system had brought a lot of challenges to the farmers and had rather enriched the buying agents while the farmers were made poorer.
The meeting was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC), which had three funding partners – DANIDA, USAID and the European Union – and attended by all regional heads of the association, officials from COCOBOD and the Bank of Ghana, among others.
But the management of COCOBOD says it has not stopped using the Akuafo Cheque system introduced during the 1982/83 cocoa season, and that the system is being used alongside cash.
It said it was unrealistic to use cheque only, since some of the farmers, especially the small-scale ones, preferred cash while the large-scale farmers preferred cheques.
Responding to the concerns of the farmers, the Public Relations Manager of COCOBOD, Mr Noah Kwesi Amenyah, told the Daily Graphic that “actually COCOBOD has not suspended the Akuafo Cheque system”.
“We would have wished that this (cheque) was the main mode of payment to the farmers because of the issues of attacks and the difficulties that they (farmers) go through when they collect cash,” he said.