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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/

What do farmers and the ICCO think of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire’s minimum cocoa price?

 

The World Cocoa Farmers Organization (WCFO) is asking Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to reconsider setting a minimum cocoa price, while the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is surprised the price was not higher.

The West African nations last week proposed minimum price of $2,600 per tonne of cocoa beans and suspended forward sales for the 2020/21 season until this floor price is implemented.

Speaking to Lumina Intelligence’s Sustainable Food & Drink Podcast , Sako Warren, secretary general of the WCFO, an 800,000-strong member organization of smallholders and farmer groups, said: “We believe that farmers should be the ones to communicate with their partners on what price they should sell their crop.

“We don’t think having a fixed ceiling is the answer.

“…We are more concerned about how farmers will get that money.”

ICCO expected $3,000

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) – a member organisation for cocoa consuming and producing countries, was not part of the floor price discussions.

But also speaking to the podcast, Michel Arrion, executive director of the ICCO, welcomed the move and said he would have expected a higher price.

“I was more expecting something around $3,000,” he said.

The new ICCO executive director, who was appointed in October 2018, said world market prices had declined dramatically since 1972 from around $15,000 per MT to $2,400 today.

“There’s nothing wrong in saying we need an increase,” he said.

“If a farmer produces one ton of cocoa per year the average income will be $2,400 a year, so it’s $200 a month which is well below the poverty line if you consider the cocoa grower is feeding seven or eight people in the household.”

Arrion hopes the minimum floor price will lead to an increased farmgate price that would support farmer income.

‘A manifest injustice’

Warren said any additional money from the minimum floor price should go to farmers as income rather than be invested in infrastructure.

WCFO’s press release is available in full below.

The president of Ghana said in a press release the minimum price protection aims to address “a manifest injustice”,   a $100bn chocolate industry where less than 5.75% of the value goes to the hard work of farmers, who often live in poverty.

WCFO calls for the world price for farmers

WCFO suggests farmers should receive the floor price for cocoa rather than the farmgate price.

Côte d’Ivoire’s farmgate price for the main crop last year equates to $1,281 per MT – representing 58% of the average world market price ($2,207 – Average of ICCO’s monthly averages of daily prices from October 2018 to end of March 2019).

In Ghana the main crop farmgate price was $1,407 per ton or 64% of average world market prices.

“Farmers are the business people who produce what they produce and have to sell it. So why should they have the farmgate price and not the actual price?” Warren asked.

WCFO is calling for governments to tax farmer income rather than to set a farmgate price.

“When farmers are better off they will improve the economies of their countries ,” said Warren.

Cocoa economies

Cocoa is a big contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Cocoa beans – excluding cocoa butter, power and finished chocolate – generated $3.8bn for Côte d’Ivoire in 2017 making it the country’s top export, accounting for 37% of exports by value, according to OEC figures.

In Ghana, cocoa beans are the third largest export by value, making up 10% of exports or $1.8bn.

Next steps

WCFO will publish a roadmap on how farmers can be part of discussions in September at its conference, the Second Global Cocoa Farmers Conference (GCFC2), which runs from 25 to 26 September 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) said in a press release , a technical meeting will be held on 3 July 2019 in Abidjan to fine tune how the floor price will be implemented.

The release also said other issues, such as traceability, the environment and child labour will be decoupled from the floor price discussions.

SOURCE: CONFECTIONERY NEWS

Ghana Cocoa Board Explore Business Expansion Strategies with SA Bank

The SA Bank delegation met with Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in the capital city of Accra.

For its part, the bank has committed 80 of its executives to dig into where and how Africa can grow its businesses and business communities. During their meeting, Aidoo emphasized the essential economic contributions of the country’s cocoa output to the global supply. Ghana is second only to Cote d’Ivoire, with an average of 900k metric tons worth $2bn.

Together, the two African nations supply 60% of the world’s cocoa. According to a COCOBOD release, Aidoo also bemoaned that despite an estimated $100bn market value for cocoa, the top-two producing nations only accrue $6bn in annual revenue.

Aidoo told the delegates that falling cocoa prices have impacted farmers. According to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the daily price has sunk 26% from its 2016 peak from $3,182 per ton in January 2016 to $2,342 per ton at the start of 2019.

As of June, that number had dipped further, to just under $2300 per ton. The low revenue had forced some farmers to sell their farmlands to illegal gold miners, which poses a threat to the survival of Ghana’s cocoa industry and the world cocoa economy at large.

Climate change has also adversely affected the sector sustainability, he said, noting that Ghana has taken various steps to curb its effects on cocoa production. COCOBOD launched what it calls Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) to assist farm rehabilitation, mass pruning and hand pollination.

Standard Bank leader Steve Hall said his financial institution will continue to support COCOBOD in its annual loan facility to purchase cocoa. The 17 visiting executives also visited the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, the Cocoa Processing Company and the Cocoa Marketing Company to have the first-hand experience of the work COCOBOD does every day.

Source: www.confectionerynews.com

Govt won’t reduce producer price of cocoa – Akufo-Addo assures farmers

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured cocoa farmers that the government will not reduce the current producer price of cocoa, in spite of the plummeting world market price.
The guaranteed price the government paid to farmers in the 2018/19 main crop season was GH¢7,600 per tonne or GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilograms (kg)
President Akufo-Addo said he took the decision not to reduce the producer price because farmers had been producing the wealth of the nation.
Besides, he said, through the toil of farmers, a lot of activities in the country were being subsidized and “it is only fair that when things turn against them, the state should come in to help”.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he received a delegation of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association at the Jubilee House in Accra last Friday. The President’s assurance came against the backdrop of a recent call by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the government to reduce the producer price of cocoa to reflect changes in international cocoa prices.
According to the IMF, the downward adjustment would help COCOBOD deal with its current funding gap of GH¢1 billion. At its seventh and eighth review under the recently concluded External Credit Facility (ECF) programme, the IMF said the gap had been due to the government’s inability to reduce the producer price paid to cocoa farmers at a time global prices of the crop had been falling.
President Akufo-Addo said that, in sum, “social justice” informed the decision to maintain the current price of the produce.
Collaboration
He reiterated the fact that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, which accounted for 60 percent of total world cocoa production, were working closely to get better conditions and prices for cocoa farmers. The President explained that the collaboration would involve coordinating production and marketing, among other areas, in order to get better prices.
He expressed concern over the fact that it was those who bought the cocoa who made huge profits, while the farmers who worked hard on the farms got peanut, a development which, he said, must cease.Interventions
President Akufo-Addo expressed delight that the farmers had appreciated the various government interventions, including fertiliser subsidy, the replacement of old cocoa trees with new ones and hand pollination.
He appealed to the farmers to be vigilant and support the government to deal with “nation wreckers” who stole fertiliser and sold it to farmers in other countries.
“It is not correct that a few people, for their selfish interest, will take the fertiliser subsidised by the sweat and hard work of Ghanaian farmers and smuggle it to Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. It is not right and you have to help me stamp out the smuggling of fertiliser out of the country,” he told the farmers.
Galamsey
The President saluted the farmers for helping the government to deal with illegal mining and assured them that the fight would not be put on hold.
Rather, he said, the fight against the canker would be intensified and debunked the assertion by sections of the media that he would lose the 2020 elections because of the ban on illegal mining.
He said he owed it as a responsibility to the current and future generations to defeat illegal mining to halt the devastating pollution of waters bodies and the general destruction of the environment, adding that if they were allowed to continue, there would be no Ghana in the next decade.Law
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that at the end of May this year, when Parliament resumed sitting, the government would table before it a bill for the establishment of a Tree Crop Development Authority, which had been in the works for ages, to focus on sheanut, coffee, rubber, mango and coconut.
He said the law would establish an institution just like COCOBOD and provide strong institutional support for the crops, so that both farmers and the country would derive the maximum benefit.
He said coffee and shea butter had enormous potential for the country because available information indicated that they attracted billions of dollars in areas such as the USA.
“We should get inside there and make some of that money for ourselves,” he stressed.
Realising that goal, President Akufo-Addo said, would require cooperation between the government and farmers to grow the industry to the level that cocoa had reached.
Reacting to an appeal by the farmers for solar lamps and mosquito nets, the President directed the Minister of Food and Agriculture and the Chief Executive of the COCOBOD to ensure that they assisted farmers with their request.Governance
The President urged members of the association, which has a membership of about one million, to place emphasis on their internal governance and abide by its laid-down rules, regulations and constitution in selecting their leadership and managing their affairs.
He said that was the best way to grow any organisation, reduce tension and afford group members the space to work in unity and solidarity.
Roads
Answering a question by a farmer from the Volta Region, the President said the Eastern Corridor roads would be taken care of very soon under the Sino Hydro projects.
Farmers
The Spokesperson for the association, Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan, said the farmers were increasingly worried that cocoa prices on the world market had been going down, to the extent that some stakeholders had suggested that local cocoa prices must be reduced to save the national coffers.
On that score, he commended the President for maintaining the producer price.
He also lauded the President for the various social intervention programmes the government had instituted, especially the free senior high school policy, which had afforded poor farmers the opportunity to send their children to school at no cost.
He expressed the association’s gratitude to the government for involving the association in the distribution of fertiliser through its input stores. 

Source: Graphic Online