Scores of farmers in the Assin North District and Assin Central Municipality of the Central Region have appealed to COCOBOD to act decisively against cheating purchasing clerks of the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs).
The situation where some of the clerks deliberately adjust the weighing scales to short-change cocoa farmers should not be allowed to continue.
Mr Samuel Oduro, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, said "it is a criminal offence for clerks to tamper with weighing scales, with the intention to cheat poor farmers".
"We want to appeal to the supervising authorities, COCOBOD and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) not to relent in their efforts to apprehend any clerk who indulges in such unacceptable practice."
"It is unfortunate that unregistered brokers, supporting purchasing clerks in the remotest villages resort to adjusting their scales illegally," he said.
Similarly, grain farmers led by Mr Kwame Nyarko also called for enforcement of the use of weights and measures for sale of grains, a something they said was necessary to enable smallholder farmers to get fair prices for their produce.
"A major challenge to smallholder farmers here is getting fair prices for our produce.
"We sell our maize using the 'bush-weight' system where heaped bags of maize weighing between 130 and 150 kilograms (kg) are sold for the value of a 100kg bag, depriving farmers of the extra kilos."
"Buyers often take advantage by demanding their bags are filled to the brim instead of paying by weight," the farmers noted.
The farmers also called on the government to prioritise the construction of roads in the area to enable them transport their produce to urban and marketing centres.
This comes amid recent torrential rains that had worsened the condition of roads running across the area, making it difficult to evacuate foodstuff and cocoa beans from the villages.
Among the bad roads are the Adiembra-Dompim, Senchem, Brofoyedru Junction-Akropong-Odumasi, Dominase, Fish Odumasi, Akonfudi, Endwa and Assin town roads.
Cocoa farming is the main economic activity in the Municipality but farmers are finding it tough transporting their cocoa and other farm produce due to the poor nature of roads.
"Recent torrential rains have made the roads impassable - cutting off many of the farmers from major market centres.
The farmers said this had become a huge disincentive, particularly to the youth.