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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/

Ghana, Ivory Coast to introduce cocoa production ceiling

Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producers, are looking at introducing a cocoa production ceiling to support global prices and discourage overproduction, the countries’ industry regulators said on Wednesday.

The move comes after the West African nations, who produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, imposed a fixed “living income differential (LID)” or premium of $400 a tonne in July on all cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season.

Many cocoa buyers say the LID, which represents a major overhaul of how cocoa is priced globally, could lead to excess production and eventually, to lower prices.

“We’ve put in (place a) mechanism which sets production ceilings,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) told industry representatives at the European Cocoa Forum in Lisbon.

He declined to say at what level the production ceiling would be set, saying that parliament had to approve it first.

The director general of Ivory Coast’s Conseil Cafe Cacao (CCC), Brahima Yves Kone, said lawmakers in Ivory Coast and Ghana would likely approve the production ceiling. “According to the figures they gave us, we expect them to agree,” he said.

Cocoa prices on ICE Futures Europe hit a one-year high of 1,939 pounds ($2,424) in July, in anticipation of the move by Ivory Coast and Ghana to introduce the premium, their latest attempt to combat pervasive farmer poverty.

Speaking on how the West African nations would implement a production cap in practice, Kone said Ivory Coast had begun mapping and registering the country’s farmers, and should complete the project by 2020.

SOURCE : REUTERS