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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 Producer Price Up By 8.42 Percent

Government has announced a new producer price of cocoa for the 2019/2020 crop season from GH¢7,640 to GH¢8,240 per tonne.

The increment represents 8.42 per cent meaning that a bag (64kg) of cocoa beans would now be sold at GH¢515. Previously, a bag of cocoa was sold at GH¢475.

The Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Dr Gyiele Nurah, who represented President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the announcement at a durbar of chiefs and farmers in Sunyani yesterday.

Dr Nurah noted that despite falling price of cocoa at the world market, government deem it fit to announce the new price to cushion farmers.

He said, “Despite government inheriting a cocoa sector which was virtually on its knees, it has made significant strides to restore the sector back to its glory past.”

Dr Nurah stated that government would engage about 1,343 agriculture extension agents to offer extension services to cocoa farmers to boost production.

He advised farmers to join registered cooperatives so as to benefit interventions by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) such as distribution of fertilizer, and hybrid seedlings.

The Minister therefore urged the youth to take advantage of the numerous intervention in the cocoa sector to better their fortunes.

The CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said to help improve cocoa farming, government has imported 100,000 motorised slashers to be given to farmers at subsidised price.

The move, he said, was to discourage the use of weedicides and other uncertified chemicals to control weeds.

The COCOOD he noted, was in the process of introducing electronic weighing scales to check “cheating” of farmers by purchasing clerks of Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), adding that any LBC that will fail to comply with the new directive would not be allowed to purchase cocoa beans.

Mr Aidoo assured farmers that with the floor price which is expected to take effect in the 2020/2021 crop season, farmers would receive their fair share from the sale of cocoa.

The Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, said in the next farming season, smallholder farmers would be encouraged to expand their farms into cocoa plantations.

There were mixed reactions from the farmers after the announcement of the new cocoa price. A farmer, Margret Acheamponmaa said although she was expecting a higher price, she would accept the new price, hoping for better future as per the government’s promise.

Kwame Boateng, a farmer from the Ahafo area expressed disappointment with the new price, saying that looking at the long period that farmers had not enjoyed price increment, government could have considered that.

QCC (COCOBOD) Gets First Quality Accreditations Standard in West Africa.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Government of Ghana, Government of Switzerland and Quality Control Company Limited (QCC) on Tuesday 24th September launch a new country programme to improve trade quality and standards of cashew, oil palm and cocoa exports in Accra at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel.

The Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) is an innovative programme developed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and UNIDO to address country-specific quality and standards compliance capacity challenges in partner countries to facilitate market access for SMEs in selected value chains. Today’s launch has made Ghana achieved yet another major milestone in cementing its position as the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa beans.

In addition to the launch of the program today, UNIDO also accredited QCC with two quality certificates meant for cocoa testing and inspection :

  1. ISO IEC 17020
  2. ISO IEC 17025.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Ebenezer Owusu, Chairman of the Board of Quantity Control Company, said COCOBOD was the first organization to attain the accreditations in the West African Sub-region.

Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Phillip Stalder, congratulated COCOBOD, saying these accreditations are achievements which mark a significant milestone for the Ghanaian cocoa industry.

He expressed the belief that with appropriate investment, the Ghanaian cocoa sector can do much better in the future.

He added that Switzerland will continue to support the Ghanaian cocoa industry.

Managing Director of QCC, Samuel Maxwell Nana Kakari Addo, outlined some benefits of the accreditations.

He stated it will lead to timely documentation of inspection data, adding that the accreditations have assured the global market of premium quality cocoa from Ghana.

Source: ISD