Cocoa communities in Ashanti and Ahafo regions are not accessing farm inputs from markets due to lockdown in Greater Kumasi
- On May 14, 2020
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By: Ismaila Pomasi, Chair, Cocoa Abrabopa Association
20th April 2020
Although cocoa growing communities are not locked down, some farmers are complaining that the partial lockdown in Greater Kumasi is likely to adversely affect their main source of livelihoods.
They are unable to access inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and other agrochemicals needed for their cocoa farms. Farmers in Mankraso and other communities that access inputs from well-known markets in Kumasi, for example, cannot do so due to the partial lock down.
The situation is compounded by the inability of individual traders who move from communities to communities to sell inputs like cutlasses and agrochemicals due to restrictions on their movements too.
Additionally, most farmers in Ahafo region who find it economically prudent (proximity) buying inputs from Kumasi than in Sunyani in the Bono Ahafo region can no longer do so due to the lockdown.
Aside the difficulty is accessing farm inputs, purchasing clerks are not paying farmers for the sale of their cocoa beans. Purchasing Clerks who in turn get funding from District Officers of their companies are not reachable, neither are these clerks able to travel beyond their communities to their respective companies to access funds and other support.
Reports suggest that some District Officers now use ‘unapproved’ routes to get to their purchasing clerks in order to make such deliveries which according to some farmers, is very unsafe and highly risky.