The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) plans to channel funds, set aside for its Farmers Scholarship Trust for beneficiaries entering senior high schools (SHS), into developing school infrastructure for needy communities.
For almost 50 years, the COCOBOD, through its scholarship scheme, has provided scholarship for children of cocoa farmers in SHS, primarily paying for their tuition, including examination fees, boarding and feeding.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, with the introduction of the free SHS, there was no longer the need for the fund to continue paying school fees, thus the decision to now channel that money into another profitable use within the education sector.
Speaking at a cocoa farmers’ rally at Kokobeng in the Akim Swedru District, Mr Boahen Aidoo said: “Due to the free SHS introduced by the government, we want to channel that fund into improving school infrastructure in areas where the children walk several kilometres before they can access education facilities,” he stated.
He, however, indicated that the proposal was awaiting the approval of the Board of COCOBOD.
Accompanied by other directors from the Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr Aidoo and his entourage toured Pramkese in the Kwaebibirem Municipality, Kokobeng in the Akim Swedru District and Asuoso in the West Akim Municipality where they interacted with farmers.
The tour formed part of activities by COCOBOD to follow up on its Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs). The COCOBOD CEO and his entourage met with more than a 1,000 cocoa farmers and cooperatives at the three rallies.