THERE was jubilation by residents of five needy Sefwi communities when Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading licensed cocoa buying company (LBC) with head office in Kumasi, inaugurated borehole facilities valued at GH¢12,500 for the people.
The jubilation was necessitated by the fact that at long last, the people would no longer drink water from streams.
The beneficiary communities, namely South Sonka, Domeabra, Sakyikrom, Pokukrom and Agboagya are all in the Juabeso District.
Similar projects have been completed in six communities in the Sankore and Sefwi Boako Cocoa districts.
A symbolic inauguration of the Juabeso projects have been performed at Agboagya, which was witnessed by a large number of people in the area.
The Administrative Manager of Armajaro, Mr Seth Hammond, who inaugurated the boreholes, said funds for the projects came from the Armajaro Foundation, which was set up to, among other things, support development projects in needy communities.
He said the company had made it an obligation to send part of its profits to the rural people who produced the cocoa.
In that regard, Mr Hammond said projects like schools, electricity, water and sanitation
would be undertaken with all seriousness.
He stated that the company had since the creation of the Armajaro Foundation five years ago, sunk 41 boreholes across its operational areas.
He indicated that the company would always want to deal with farmers on a clean note and therefore called on the farmers to have faith in them.
Mr Hammond said Armajaro had a number of motivational packages for farmers to support them to produce more for the benefit of the nation.
The administrative manager urged parents to desist from using child labour on their farms and rather take interest in the education of the children.
The Bonsu Nkwanta Zonal Manager of Armajaro, Mr Kwasi Boateng, advised the cocoa farmers to use only government-approved insecticides on their farms.
He warned that a number of dangerous imported insecticides were on the market and their use could be disastrous.
Mr Boateng said cocoa was the lifeblood of the nation and as such, nothing should be done to thwart efforts at improving the annual production.
During an open forum, a farmer, Mr Oteng Asante, commended Armajaro for the projects.
He stated that even though the government was helping the farmers with the mass cocoa spraying exercise, it was not enough and, therefore, appealed to the company to offer the necessary support.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Executive Director of the Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Sekyim Gorkeh, has called on licensed buying companies (LBCs) not to allow their profit motives to override the primary objective of providing quality cocoa for the nation.
He said consumers of cocoa had become very sophisticated and would always want to ensure that what they consumed was of higher quality.
Mr Gorkeh stated this at the annual workshop for district managers, accountants and depot keepers of Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading LCB in Kumasi.
Mr Gorkeh stressed the need for LCBs to ensure pre-purchase inspection to verify how dried the beans were before purchasing them.
He said as part of the QCD’s effort to prevent the export of inferior cocoa to overseas buyers, all storage facilities had been asked to conform to the directive.
The Managing Director of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), Mr Dramani Egala, who spoke on risk management and the future of the cocoa industry, said there were high hopes for the industry due to the effective measures put in place by the government,
which had encouraged farmers to increase production.
Mr Egala said the recent increase in the producer price of cocoa was a motivational factor for Ghana to hit all record high in cocoa production this year.
The Chief Operations Officer of Armajaro, Mr Nelson Kpodo-Tay, said the company was contributing positively to build the cocoa industry and promised that it would continue to play its role effectively as the nation moved to improve its cocoa production.