The Ghana COCOBOD will this year embark on an initiative that aims to generate a database on all cocoa farmers in the country.

This, according to officials of the state owned management entity, will help the government to design programs and policies that are geared towards improving on the welfare of cocoa farmers while also maximizing yield.

To this end, COCOBOD will biometrically, register all cocoa farmers and issue them with biometric cards which would be used to transact all cocoa-related businesses.

“We will write your name and take your finger print. We will also use GPS to measure your farm and attach your name to it. We will then issue you with a smart card. This smart card should be shown to the cocoa purchasing officer when you are going to sell your cocoa beans. Whatever is entitled you will be recorded on the smart card and this will show on our centralized system to enable us know exactly how much cocoa beans you are able to sell on yearly basis. We can also record your money on the smart card so that wherever you find yourself, you can withdraw money. This is going to minimize armed robbery attacks on you”, the Head of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, Mr. Emmanuel Opoku noted.

He added “One of the good things about this initiative is that when the government gives subsidy on a fertilizer, it will be recorded on the smart card and when you go to the fertilizer vendor to buy fertilizer, the subsidy will be deducted and you will pay less for the fertilizer product”.

Mr. Opoku made this observation, last Thursday, when addressing cocoa farmers and other players in the cocoa sector at Tepa in the Ashanti Region during the launch of the 25th anniversary celebrations of Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union (KKFU), last Thursday.

The biometric cards that are expected to be issued to the farmers will bring to an end, cash payments, to farmers for the sale of their produce.