COCOBOD set to hand over rehabilitated farms to farmers


The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has announced plans to officially hand over several rehabilitated farms across cocoa regions to beneficiary farmers next month, in a bid to bolster cocoa production.

This initiative aims to significantly increase annual cocoa stocks, translating into more income for farmers and other stakeholders.

At the 2024 National Chocolate Week Celebration launch in Accra, Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration) COCOBOD – speaking on behalf of Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive-COCOBOD, highlighted the importance of productivity enhancement programmes such as pruning, mass-spraying and pollination to ensure increased cocoa production.

Addressing the ongoing cocoa beans shortage, Mr. Ankrah acknowledged various factors contributing to the phenomenon – including illegal mining, climate change, disease and pest attacks as well as cocoa smuggling. Despite these challenges, he emphasised COCOBOD’s success in productivity-enhancing and price-guard initiatives over the past seven years.

“Our mandate to promote local cocoa consumption reflects our commitment to nurturing cocoa and securing sustainable incomes for our farmers,” stated Mr. Ankrah.

He outlined the board’s policy of providing support for local value addition to cocoa; allowing artisanal chocolate makers to purchase cocoa beans directly from the Cocoa Marketing Company Ltd., a subsidiary of COCOBOD.

Mr. Ankrah underscored the significance of supporting small-scale processors to reduce production costs and unemployment while encouraging innovation and diversification in production lines. He called for a multifaceted approach to address both demand-side and supply-side dynamics in the cocoa sector.

The National Planning Committee for Promotion of Cocoa Consumption, in collaboration with key stakeholders, focused on the youth as a potential market for this year’s celebration. Initiatives like Chocolate City at the Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout and Nationwide Campaign aim to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits and cultural significance of cocoa.

Since 2017, COCOBOD has implemented schemes to process at least 50 percent of cocoa produced annually in Ghana – with the goal of increasing per capita consumption from 0.45kg to at least 1kg within a 5–7-year period. An assessment in 2016/17 identified 12 cocoa processing companies with an installed capacity of 500,000mt but which have low processing levels. By 2019, more than 40 percent of the year’s cocoa output was locally processed, marking a significant improvement.

Mr. Ankrah emphasised the need to consolidate gains made in increasing per capita consumption and enhance strategic focus areas to achieve maximum impact. He cited Europe and the Americas, where per capita cocoa consumption ranges from 7kg to 11kg, as benchmarks for further growth in Ghana’s cocoa industry.

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