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Ghana Is Working Towards Processing of Cocoa for Production of Chocolate

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana is working towards processing more of its cocoa, especially in the production of chocolate.

He said the country would no longer depend on the production and export of raw materials, including cocoa beans, but rather, focus on processing the raw materials. “We believe there can be no future prosperity for the Ghanaian people, in the short, medium or long term, if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials,” he said.

He, thus, reiterated the government’s commitment to add value to the country’s raw materials, industrialise and enhance agricultural productivity.

“This is the best way we can put Ghana at the high end of the value chain in the global market place, and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians,” he said

President Akufo-Addo said this last Friday when he delivered a statement at the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation, in Bern, Switzerland, as part of a two-day State Visit to that country, the first in 60 years by a Head of State from sub-Saharan Africa.

The President urged Swiss investors to take advantage of Ghana’s unique position as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat to set up joint venture enterprises in the country and, thereby, access the huge market that the free trade area presents.

He said since assuming office in January 2017, his government had put in place a number of measures aimed at attracting investment to Ghana and stimulating the growth of the private sector.

“We have succeeded, over the last three years, in ensuring that all our macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction; cut our fiscal deficit; introduced a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing; and have introduced a raft of tax cuts which are bringing relief to and encouraging businesses,” President Akufo-Addo said.

These interventions, he explained, had led to Ghana recording an annual GDP average growth rate of seven per cent since 2017, making Ghana, consistently, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the period. “We have one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, evidenced in our status as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa,” the President said.

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo told members of the Federal Council that Ghana had also been selected to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, a market of some 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of US$3 trillion.

Describing it as “the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation”, he stressed that “our goal is to make Ghana the hub of trade in Africa.”

President Akufo-Addo reassured members of the Federal Assembly that Ghana was fully committed to a democratic present and future, where respect for individual liberties and human rights, the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability were at the core of the country’s body politic.

“Ghana stands shoulder to shoulder with Switzerland in our joint determination to promote and protect human rights across the globe,” he added.

The President continued, “I am hopeful that, as we shape the future of Ghana, and position Ghanaian enterprises to compete effectively on the world stage, we have friends, such as the Swiss Confederation, to support us in this objective. We are determined in Ghana to ensure that succeeding generations of Ghanaians do not become victims or pawns of the international economic order, but her beneficiaries.”

Describing the relations between Ghana and Switzerland as excellent, the President paid tribute to the work undertaken by the Basel Missionaries, who arrived in the then Gold Coast to undertake evangelical work.

The missionaries pioneered the establishment of educational and health institutions across the country; were also responsible for the translation of the Bible from English into some Ghanaian languages, he said.

“I have also personally benefitted from these very good relations because the first European Head of State to visit Ghana, when I assumed office as the fifth President of Ghana’s 4th Republic, on January 7, 2017, was your 91st President, Her Excellency Mrs Doris Leuthard,” he added.

Source : GT

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.

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/