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Akufo-Addo launches cocoa farmers’ pension scheme

President Akufo-Addo says the pension scheme will enable cocoa farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement

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  • “The Pension Scheme will enable cocoa farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement, whilst COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of the farmers as well.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has on Tuesday (1 December 2020) launched a pension scheme for the country’s 1.5 million cocoa famers.

According to the president, “The pension scheme will enable cocoa farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement, whilst COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of the farmers as well.”

This, he explained, “guarantees a decent retirement income for cocoa farmers for life, and ensures that they can maintain decent livelihoods after retirement”.

Launching the pension scheme at Jubilee Park in Kumasi during his three-day tour of the Ashanti Region, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the farmers across Ghana who are responsible for the production of cocoa, a crop which has, for over a century, been the mainstay of the country’s economy.

Fulfilling pledge

In recognition of their hard work, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was mandated, under Section 26 of the COCOBOD Law 1984 (PNDCL 81), to establish a contributory insurance scheme for cocoa farmers within the framework of the Social Security Scheme, so that they could also enjoy a well-deserved pension upon retirement.

Unfortunately, successive governments, for various reasons, were unable to fulfil this, much to the disapproval of cocoa farmers, who continued to make demands for the establishment of the “Cocoa Farmers’ Pension Scheme”.

“As Candidate Akufo-Addo, in the run-up to the December 2016 elections, I made a solemn pledge to cocoa farmers that, if the Ghanaian people reposed their confidence in me, and I won the election of 2016, my government would establish the pension scheme for them not just in fulfilment of the legal requirement, but also in line with the government’s plans to improve the living standards of cocoa farmers in Ghana,” he said.

CEO of COCBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo
The chief executive officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo

Decent pension

Upon assumption of office, the president tasked the chief executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, to begin work in earnest with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and other stakeholders to set up the Cocoa Farmers’ Pension Scheme to support the hundreds of thousands of people who grow cocoa, so that they can enjoy a decent retirement after their working lives.

“Through the shared determination and expertise of those I put in charge to ensure the establishment of the scheme, both the legal framework and the technical structures have been put in place for the smooth take-off of this all-important scheme,” he said.

To ensure the successful rollout of the scheme, COCOBOD is embarking on a census to collect data on farmers for the Cocoa Management System (CMS).

President Akufo-Addo explained: “The CMS will hold a robust database of all cocoa farmers in the country, and track their contributions. It will also facilitate the prompt payment of claims to beneficiary farmers.”

The president entreated all cocoa farmers to sign up to the Cocoa Farmers’ Pension Scheme in order to enjoy its full benefits.

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