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Pilot registration of cocoa farmers’ pension scheme begins on August 23

The pilot registration for the enrolment of about 1.5 million cocoa farmers unto the national pension scheme is set to start next week Monday, August 23, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has disclosed.

This is ahead of the roll-out of the full scheme for the 2021/2022 cocoa season.

According to the Public Relations Officer of COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo, data collection of cocoa farmers in the Western and Ashanti regions has ended, adding that the Western North Region would be the next target of farmers to be enrolled unto the pension scheme by the October cocoa season.

He has therefore urged cocoa farmers to take advantage of the programme to secure their retirement.

Mr Boafo was speaking to GBC News on Wednesday, August 18.

The cocoa farmers pension scheme

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, launched a scheme known as the “Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme” in Kumasi in December last year, as a way to guarantee the retirement benefits of farmers.

Aside from a secured retirement income for cocoa farmers, the scheme is also to enable the farmers to maintain decent lives after retirement.

It is envisaged that the scheme the farmers would make voluntary contributions towards their retirement, while COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of their behalf.

According to the president, the implementation of the scheme was “not just in fulfillment of the legal requirement, but also in line with the government’s plans to improve the living standards of cocoa farmers in Ghana.”

“Through the shared determination and expertise of those I put in charge to ensure the establishments 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 noted.

COCOBOD and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) are implementing the scheme through a partnership.

Following the launch, COCOBOD and the NPRA were to vigorously embark on an education and sensitization programme to bring all cocoa farmers, individuals and groupings to enroll in the scheme.

COCOBOD has been  mandated, under Section 26 of the COCOBOD Law, 1984 (PNDC L.81), to establish a Contributory Insurance Scheme for Cocoa Farmers within the framework of the social security scheme, for cocoa farmers to enjoy a well-deserved pension, upon retirement.

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