The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has started the implementation of a pilot cocoa farmers’ pension scheme in New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region.
The pilot, which is expected to last for two weeks, is to enable the implementers and fund administrators to test the system before the national rollout in October this year.
Some 2,000 cocoa farmers are expected to be registered for the pilot exercise.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in December 2, 2020 launched the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme, which has been on the drawing board since 1984.
Explaining the scheme, which will benefit 1.5 million farmers from the start, the President said it would enable cocoa farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement, while the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) would make supplementary contributions on behalf of the farmers.
He added that the scheme would guarantee a decent retirement income for cocoa farmers for life and ensure that they maintained improved livelihoods in retirement.
COCOBOD is mandated, under Section 26 of the COCOBOD Law 1984, PNDC Law 81, to establish a contributor insurance scheme for cocoa farmers within the framework of the social security scheme, so that the farmers could enjoy a decent pension.
The scheme is a regulated one sponsored by the COCOBOD to cover registered cocoa farmers and their beneficiaries.
The scheme selected New Edubiase for the pilot project because it is the highest cocoa producing district in the Ashanti Region.