Objectives of the Assignment:
- Assess the operations of the PPCS and make recommendations for improvement
- Assess the current farm record and bookkeeping and improve standard practices
- Provide hands-on training on book and records keeping
It is recommended that Pepawani Kwamekrom Cooperative Pineapple Growers and Marketing Society implement a standardized system for record keeping utilizing symbols that all members can adhere to regardless of literacy level.
Pepawani Kwamekrom Pineapple Cooperative and Marketing Society (PPCS) was established in 1997 with 15 members in Kwamekrom, Pepawani, but now has a total of 45 members. The main varieties they cultivated were smooth cayenne pineapple and sugar loaf pineapple. Their primary markets were the Nsawam and Accra local fresh fruits markets, and Farmapine, a World Bank project that exported fresh pineapples from Ghana to Europe and America. Farmapine adopted Pepawani, Oboadaka, Samsam, and Fotobi Cooperatives as out-growers and pre-financed their production. In 2003, issues with mismanagement led to the collapse of Farmapine. Unfortunately, this happened at a time when there was a switch from the smooth cayenne variety to MD2 on the global market, a big setback to the whole pineapple industry.
Pepawani Kwamekrom Pineapple Cooperative and Marketing Society (PPCS) was established in 1997 with 15 members in Kwamekrom, Pepawani, but now has 45 members. Their early markets were Nsawam and Accra local fresh fruits markets, Farmapine, and Sunripe Processing Limited. Currently with the help of the ACDI/VOCA ADVANCE Program, PPCS’s main buyers are HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, Pinora, and the Akuapem South Agro-Processors Association. The Export Development Investment Fund (EDIF) gave the group a grant of GH¢160,000.00 for production in December 2011 because of the seriousness and diligence of the group. PPCS lacks book and record-keeping capacity. This makes it difficult for them to meet Globalgap and Fairtrade standards during auditing and renewals
The group continued to sell to the Nsawam and Accra local fresh fruit markets till in 2010 when processing companies such as Sunripe Processing Limited and HPW Fresh and Dry Limited begun operations. The seriousness and quest of the group to expand and access more reliable markets attracted the attention of Export Development Investment Fund (EDIF) who gave the group a grant of GH¢160,000.00 (US $ 84,210.53) for production. However, PPCS lacks bookkeeping and recordkeeping capacity. This makes it difficult for them to meet Globalgap and Fairtrade standards during auditing and renewals. This management gap compels the Pepawani Kwamekrom Pineapple Growers and Marketing Society to seek technical assistance to train the group on book and recordkeeping, which will ameliorate current problems with international horticultural standards certification and auditing that occur as a result of these deficiencies.
It is recommended that Pepawani Kwamekrom Cooperative Pineapple Growers and Marketing Society implement a standardized system for record keeping utilizing symbols that all members can adhere to regardless of literacy level. It is expected that improved record-keeping will impact the group’s ability to maximize its profits and prevent any members from operating at a loss. It is therefore recommended that ACDI/VOCA implement a system to monitor and evaluate the group’s processes used for financial management to ensure proper implementation and assess economic impact. Finally, it is recommended that future training be provided to the group in the area of Strategic Planning and Advanced Record Keeping. It has been made known that the group will be receiving a donation of computers and accompanying training. This can be done in conjunction with Advanced Record Keeping as members can be shown how computers can be utilized to improve their business management practices.
Achievement of Expected Products and Results (present and short term):
In the short term, it is expected that members will begin the implementation of the use of a Cash Book and Credit Book immediately to record financial transactions. It is also expected that members will be able to determine more accurate pricing for their products by doing a thorough cost analysis taking into consideration the need to account for personal income and future savings.
In the long term, it is expected that members should show complete adherence to the use of a standardized record-keeping system. Three months from this date is reasonable for each member to become familiar with the adopted symbols and to have developed the habit of daily record keeping.
The members of the cooperative showed tremendous dedication and all displayed a strong work ethic in their class participation. Although at the beginning of the training, members seemed to not understand the significance of record keeping they gave full cooperation to the training. By the end of the assignment, it was clear that in fact not only did members now understand the significance of record keeping but were happy to have been involved in the training.