The Executive Officer for Fairtrade, a banana growing and export company, Madam Juliet Mensah Aku has pleaded with the government to consider other farmers in the implementation of the pension policy plan for all farmers and not only producers of selected crops as proposed.
According to her, other farmers are as equally important as the mentioned crops since they also produce cash crops which the country exports for foreign exchange and there is no need for the government to discriminate against them.
The government in July announced plans to set up a pension scheme for farmers in cash crop production and those engaged in small scale businesses.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the announcement at a banquet for senior citizens in Accra.
According to the president, the government was instituting measures to set up pension arrangements for farmers who produce cocoa, coffee, cashew, shea-nut and pineapple, among others.
Speaking in an interview with Captain Adabuga, during the Rite Morning Ride on Tuesday, the executive officer said there is always ready market for banana produce.
“There is always ready market for our banana produce and even just last week, the association exported two hundred (200) tons (10,000 cartons) of banana,” madam Aku said.
The Fairtrade Executive Officer further added that there is also always ready market for other farm produce.
“There is always ready market for other farm produce and that is why we are encouraging other farmers to join the fair trade certificate so that they can easily get market for their produce when they harvest to avoid postharvest losses that farmers face,” she said.
According to the President, the scheme would also benefit pensioners in umbrella associations, such as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), the Association of Small Scale Industries, among other similar groups.
The main aim of the pension scheme, he explained, is to introduce measures to cater for the aged in society.
It is generally accepted that many of our farmers face abject poverty in their old age and it is for this reason that the youth are unwilling to venture into cash crop farming.
The state of aged farmers in the country deters many of them from going into agriculture as a means of employment because they cannot rely on it during their old age.
Many aged farmers even die as paupers, because they do not have a pension scheme to be used to take care of them although they might have worked throughout their lifetime as famers.
Therefore the idea of setting up the pension scheme for them is laudable. Many farmers have looked forward to the scheme in the past and its establishment would not only serve their interest, but encourage the youth to take up farming as a profession.
Source: Prince Paul Amuzu/ritefmonline.org/[email protected]