MY name is Yaw Sraha. I am 45 years old. I hail from Nakate in the Asmura district in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. I had my formal education at the Nakate Local Authority School where I obtained my Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC) in 1984. I ventured into farming six years later after suffering a career threatening injury while playing football.
I joined Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in the year of our Lord, 1998. Before joining Kuapa Kokoo, I was following the footsteps of Opanin Kofi Basoah (my father) in selling my cocoa beans to the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB). It was when I found out that I don’t have a voice in CMB that I switched allegiance to Kuapa where I learnt farmers have a say in the decision making process.
My membership with Kuapa began as a Society Recorder at Nakate. By dint of hard work and the trust reposed in me by my colleagues’ farmers, I currently hold the following positions; District President – Goaso / Asmura (DEC), Treasurer – National Executive Council (NEC) and Board Member – Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Trust (KKFT).
Kuapa is different in that it pays farmers extra bonus of GHC2.00 per bag aside the government’s bonus of GHC2.50p. Kuapa also gives farmers machete and supplies approved and quality insecticides on credit. These policies has improved my finances and enabled me to build a house, owned 2 commercial vehicles and expanded my farm size to 24 acres. I produce 80 bags and am targeting 100 bags within the next year or two.
I am married with 8 children. They are between the ages of 17 and 6 with all of them enrolled in school. Apart from these responsibilities, I have also sponsored a brilliant but needy student from secondary to the tertiary level. For me, what make Kuapa stand out from among the other License Buying Companies (LBCs) are its democratic tenets, transparency, development projects it undertakes and regular training for farmers.
My community is today a beneficiary of good drinking water through the benevolence of KKFT. Early this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Malawi in the company of some NEC members on an exchange programme. We studied the co-operative structure of NAFAST Company compared to the co-operative principles we are using.
Looking back, I think my decision to join Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union has been of immense help to me and my family.
Kuapa, – Papa Paa.