Ghana Cocoa Board expresses concerns over low revenues gained by African nations
The chief executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has met with the Standard Bank Group, as part of the company’s immersion programme of providing learning opportunities on how to grow Africa’s business and banking sectors.
He indicated that currently, Ghana produces an average of 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa yearly and this translates into about $2 billion sales. He expressed concern that revenue accruing to Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana annually is around $6 billion, which is an amount he considered notably low considering the fact that the world cocoa market is valued at an estimated $100 billion.
According to the Chief Executive, the comparatively small level of revenue had forced some farmers to sell off their farmlands to illegal gold miners, a development he says, poses a threat to the survival of Ghana’s cocoa industry and the world cocoa economy at large.
Hon. Boahen Aidoo told the team that apart from the falling global cocoa prices that affects farmers, the issue of climate change has become a major threat to the sustainability of the cocoa sector adding, various steps are being taken to ameliorate the effect of climate on cocoa production in the country. He further stated that COCOBOD has introduced the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) such as the rehabilitation of cocoa farms, mass pruning, and hand pollination among other interventions aimed at ensuring increased and sustainable cocoa production in Ghana.
Meanwhile, leader of Standard Bank Group, Steve Hall, commended COCOBOD for its contribution to the world cocoa sector. He pledged his bank’s continued support in the Board’s annual syndicated Loan Facility for the purchase of cocoa.
The meeting in Accra, Ghana, was part of a programme for 80 chief executives of the Standard Bank Group and Ghana has been identified as one of the countries that offers mind expansion experience and provides opportunities to grow Africa’s businesses. The team later visited the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) and Cocoa Marketing Company, Tema (CMC) to have first-hand experience on the activities of the Board.