Cocoa farmers are demanding that the Produce Buying Company (PBC) pays them electronically for the purchase of cocoa beans.
This comes on the back of the increasing cases of robbery in cocoa growing areas. Just this year, about Ghc500, 000 cedis which was being conveyed to the Twifo Praso area for disbursement was stolen by robbers.
Starr News sources have revealed that a bullion van carrying a huge amount of money belonging to a PBC – a cocoa buying company – was attacked two weeks ago by robbers in the Twifo Praso area in the Central region.
According to information gathered by Starr News, the robbers made away with over Ghc500, 000 from the bullion van which had no police protection. The amount was meant for Cocoa farmers at Nyinasini near Twifo Praso in the Central region.
Police spokesperson DSP Irene Serwaa Oppong, who confirmed the story to Starr News said investigations are still ongoing.
She confirmed that the accountant was injured in the process, adding that 35 empty AK 47 shells were retrieved from the scene. According to her, two people from the company have been arrested together with another suspect.
The suspects, according to DSP Oppong have since been handed over to the Central regional police command for interrogation.
Some of the Cocoa Farmers who spoke to Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah from the area say the Produce Buying Company should change its mode of payment.
“Why should the PBC be sending bullion vans to come and pay us. Almost all the farmers here have registered their numbers. There should be a mechanism to send us our money electronically. The robberies are getting too much,” a farmer lamented.
One other said: “Most of the farmers are illiterates, they don’t even know the denominations and find it difficult to even count the money when given to them. Giving them Mobile Money will be safer.”