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Care For Cocoa, Cocoa Will Care For You- Cocobod Chief Advises

The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo,  has hinted that  Cocobod’s School Feeding Secretariat and partners in the industry have firmed up modalities for a smooth take- off of the introduction of chocolate drinks into the School Feeding programme as a means of promoting the consumption of cocoa locally.

He made this known during a speech at the Jubilee Park, Sunyani as part of the activities marking this year’s Cocoa Producers’ Alliance Day.

The theme for the celebration is “Cocoa Production for Wealth and Health”.

“Since children in basic schools are in their formative years, we believe introducing them to cocoa consumption at this age would not only help them to develop a lasting taste for cocoa consumption, but stay healthier”.

He noted that to build a Ghana beyond aid,we need to grow what we eat,eat what we grow and export the excess to create wealth, adding that given the numerous benefits of cocoa, if we grow more of it,eat more of it and export the rest,we would create wealth as well as improve the health status of the populace, thus serving as a catalyst in our collective resolve to build a Ghana beyond aid.

According to the Chief Executive,he took over the affairs of Cocobod when the productivity of  cocoa farms were very low, below 400 kilos per hectare and farmers were discouraged to invest in their cocoa farms.

However, in consultation with government, Cocobod decided to implement the Productivity Enhancement Programme,(PEP’s) which included hand pollination, pruning,rehabilitation, irrigation, fertilizer application and disease and pest control.

Mr. Boahen further stated that “these have improved productivity of cocoa farms to current levels of 500 kilos per hectare, it is our objective to increase our productivity to at least,1,000 per hectare by 2021”.

The Chief Executive implored cocoa farmers to adhere strictly to  good agronomic practices and adopt the ( PEP’s), which will consequently facilitate sustainable increase in yields and improve farmer income.

Not all,he said the recent launch of the farmer co-operatives in the cocoa sector re-affirm Cocobod’s commitment to making farmer Co-operative a channel for the implementation of the PEP’s and spoke with the optimism that, farmers will join Co-operatives and play their roles in making such Co-operatives reliable and formidable.

Furthermore,the smooth talking Chief Executive announced that Cocobod is arranging with Licensed Buying Companies to acquire electronic weighing scales for cocoa purchases to curb the manipulation of scales by Purchasing Clerks to the detriment of farmers.

“We are reliably informed that such scales cannot be tampered with. We are confident the decision will lessen the extent of cheating perpetrated by purchasing clerks and guarantee farmers of their deserved income”.

On the rampant use of chemicals to control weeds, which has resulted in complaints by partners in the cocoa industry about  chemical residue in cocoa beans, Mr.Boahen- Aidoo declared that ” we have concluded on the purchase of motorised slashers for distribution through Farmer Co-operatives to farmers as part of the efforts to do away with the rampant use of harmful chemicals to control weeds on farms”.

He revealed that the government through Cocobod is cutting and treating cocoa trees diseased by  cocoa swollen shoot viral disease(CSSVD) through the rehabilitation programme, noting that the extent of devastation caused by the CSSVD is more than Cocobod was made to understand by statistics, especially, in the Western North Regions as a some communities have lost their entire cocoa landscape”.

” I commend the Sefwi Wiawso  Youth In Cocoa Production Cooperative for providing replanting services to farms under treatment.It was easier dealing with such a self sustaining Cooperative in the Region in the provision of those essential services”.

On Ghana’s effort to secure a fair and remunerative producer price income for farmers, Mr. Boahen- Aidoo  said, significant strides have been made, as the quest for buyers to pay a  Living Income Differential (LID) of

400 Dollars Per tonne of cocoa will provide a relief to the hard working cocoa farmer and bridge the income gap.

The Chief Executive lastly called on the collective support of players in the cocoa industry ie. Buyers, Traders, Agro dealers,Hauliers and our governments as Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire agree on the Living Income Differential as the most appropriate price mechanism for appropriate trade henceforth.

“This new and unprecedented trade arrangement has become necessary to provide a safeguard for farmers’ income,’ he concluded.

Cocoa farming now big earner

The acting Managing Director of the Quality Control Division of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Nana Karikari Addo, has encouraged educated unemployed youth to embark on cocoa farming.

He said the production of the crop was no more the preserve of the aged.

He said adequate measures, under the Productivity Enhancement Programme (PEP), had been put in place to boost the yield of cocoa in order to increase the income of farmers and make life easy for them.

Nana Addo said the cultivation of cocoa was now a business and those who ventured into it and adhered to the directions of the PEP would reap from their sweat and toil.

At a forum organised for cocoa farmers in the Asunafo North and Asunafo South districts in Goaso in the Ahafo Region to educate them about the number of interventions that had been put in place to boost the production of cocoa, Nana Addo asked the farmers to make use of the various extension officers sent to their farms to assist them to improve their level of productivity.

The PEP, he said, included the cutting of cocoa infected by diseases for free, payment for fertiliser bags in instalments, the implementation of artificial pollination and the provision of free seedlings to farmers.

The forum was also used to educate the farmers on the proper application of chemicals to treat their cocoa farms.

Nana Addo asked the farmers to use only chemicals that had been certified by COCOBOD since fake products could harm their farms.

He told the farmers that even though their children could assist them in farming, that should not be a hindrance to their education.

The Omanhene of the Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Kwasi Bosomprah, commended the government for the implementation of the flexible payment system for the purchase of fertiliser for the maintenance of cocoa farms.

He called on cocoa farmers to take advantage of the flexible fertiliser payment system to properly maintain their farms to improve their yields.

He asked them to adopt best and modern agronomic practices.

“It is better to have a small but well-maintained farm than a big farm which is not well-maintained,” he stated.

Nana Bosomprah also warned cocoa farmers against the use of children during school hours on their farms, explaining that such practices were not acceptable, both in Ghana and internationally.

Ghana expects slightly lower cocoa production in upcoming season

Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, is expected to produce 850,000 tonnes of cocoa in 2019/20 season, at the lower end of average levels on account of the swollen shoot disease outbreak, the country’s industry regulator said on Thursday.

Ghana’s annual cocoa production is usually between 850,000 and 900,000 tonnes, though the country had an official forecast of 900,000 tonnes for the current 2018/19 season, which ends this month.

“Swollen shoot is the main factor bringing down production,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), an industry regulator, told Reuters on the sidelines of the European Cocoa Forum in Lisbon.

Aidoo also said Ghana would announce the official farmgate price for the 2019/20 season on Oct. 1. The farmgate price is a fixed annual price set and paid by the government to farmers each season.

Ghana’s cocoa output is expected to fall to 830,000 tonnes in the 2018/19 season, which ends this month, on account of unfavourable weather and swollen shoot disease, according to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO).

Ghana’s fight against the disease has prompted Cocobod to replant of 400,000 hectares of cocoa plants. It will take at least three to five years for the replanted surfaces to come into production.

Source: Reuters

COCOBOD, China signs agreement for establishment of Cocoa processing factory in Sefwi-Wiawso

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed an agreement with the China General Technology (Group) Holding (Genertec) for the establishment of a cocoa processing factory in Ghana.The factory, which will be located at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region will be operated by COCOBOD and Genertec through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).Implementation of the plan for the construction of the cocoa processing factory will involve the China International Development Operating Agency, with funding from the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Sino-African Fund.

The project holds great potential to contribute significantly to the improvement of the Ghanaian economy, and particularly, for the local economy of the Sefwi-Wiawso area, said the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, in his address to the Chinese delegation led by the country’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Zhou Wang. The signing ceremony took place at the Cocoa House in Accra.

The project, Hon. Aidoo added, also has the potential to grant Ghana access to the huge Chinese market of well over a billion people. There lies a unique opportunity to reach several-million consumers of cocoa made and processed in Ghana.

“This is a project that is going to benefit both countries,” he said with some glee. “It is going to be of mutual benefit; a win-win situation. Ghana will benefit and of course, China will as well benefit.”

Hon. Aidoo said the project will also aid in COCOBOD’s drive towards increasing local consumption and more importantly, it fits into the agenda of the present government, that Ghana should increase its share of the USD$ 100 billion global cocoa industry through value addition to cocoa beans.

“It is a matter of taking a bigger part of the global value chain, worth over USD$ 100 billion annually. Once the comprehensive feasibility studies are completed, we are looking forward to the commencement of the project.”

On his part, Mr Tan Xinghui, the Vice President of Genertec said the company already has some foothold in the Ghanaian cocoa sector spanning some 15 years, however, the establishment of the cocoa processing plant commences a new model of corporation between Ghana and China.

Although, China has invested in other sectors of Ghana, they are yet looking for other opportunities where the two countries can cooperate for mutual profit and a deepening of relations.

“We regard Ghana as the regional hub”, Mr Tan Xinghui added. “We believe that our portfolio in Ghana is not yet enough, so, basically we are looking forward to expanding our investment here in Ghana and that is why we are here today.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman, was grateful for the co-operation and was hopeful that the project will commence in due time to achieve the objective of expanding the consumption of cocoa in the country.

He was positive that the mutual relationship between the two countries will be further strengthened.

SOURCE : BestNewsGH.com and www.facebook.com/jbaidooofficial/