Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has charged all Ghanaians to support the fight against ‘galamsey’ in cocoa growing areas as a form of deliberately protecting national pride.
It, therefore, wants all and sundry to join the campaign in sensitising farmers about the economic, nutritional and health benefits derived from cocoa cultivation as against the immediate benefits that galamsey seeks to promise.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive of COCOBOD at the 4th Ghana Cocoa Dinner, the Director of Research, Dr. Francis Baah, said Ghanaians must take advantage of the niche crop and protect it for posterity.
“Cocoa continues to be our national pride and we must deliberately protect it. It has a great measure of nutritional and health benefits, and it must be made part of the daily meals of all. Let’s take advantage of this niche crop and protect it for posterity.
Let’s support the fight against galamsey in cocoa growing areas by joining in sensitising farmers about the economic, nutritional and health benefits derived from cocoa cultivation as against the immediate benefits that galamsey seeks to promise”.
He explained that the path to enhancing the incomes of farmers has not been smooth, hence his outfit will however not bow to the incessant pressure from saboteurs of its efforts, particularly, the Living Income Differential pricing mechanism which Ghana, Ivory Coast and lately, Nigeria have agreed to adopt in selling cocoa beans.
“We will not bow to the incessant pressure from saboteurs of our efforts, particularly, the Living Income Differential (LID) pricing mechanism which Ghana, Ivory Coast and lately, Nigeria have agreed to adopt in selling our cocoa beans.
We have used several platforms to make a case for this new pricing mechanism since 2018 when the idea of improving upon the impoverished condition of cocoa farmers was birthed.
However, it appears many of the trade houses and other agencies are thwarting our efforts at achieving the full realization of the LID”.
Dr. Baah again said the survival of Ghana’s cocoa sector, going forward is tied to how much the nation would be able to add value to its cocoa beans locally to boost consumption, noting “we came up with a policy in 2018 to ensure that at least 50% of cocoa produced annually is processed.”
He added that “we have indeed made gains by achieving 40% over the last five years of intensive campaigns and stakeholder engagements. But that does not seem enough as the country’s per capita consumption has slightly improved to 0.56kg. Although not too encouraging, the indication is positive indeed”.
Executive Director of Cocoa Post, Kojo Hayford, said the awards have supported the government and COCOBOD’s policies aimed at transforming the cocoa sector into a vibrant one.
“This year, we are adding our voice to the clarion call by Ghana and Ivory Coast for remunerative incomes for our cocoa farmers, hence the theme – Decent Income For Sustainable Cocoa Production”.