Precision in the database of all cocoa farmers and cocoa transactions may see a big change in Ghana, where unreliable data and uncertainties about cocoa yield, robberies associated with cash transaction and the lack of operator transparency in the cocoa supply chain continue to hamper the gains in the industry.
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has therefore initiated a seamless technology platform, the Cocoa Management System, expected to help it remain visible in the cocoa value chain.
Cocobod says it has already piloted the exercise in some selected cocoa-growing communities across the country.
Under the new Cocoa Management System (CMS), detailed information about cocoa farmers and their farms, as well as other stakeholders operating in the sector will be taken to provide the industry regulator and the government with concrete and verified data on the cocoa sector and its stakeholders.
Prior to the launch of the system, policies for cocoa farmers were largely based on assumptions due to the absence of a comprehensive data on the farmers.
COCOBOD is hoping to register a minimum of 1.2 million cocoa farmers, out of the estimated 800,000 cocoa households producing the crop in seven cocoa growing regions in the country.
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said the program will also ensure the farmers have adequate knowledge to help them improve yield.
” …it is also intended to capture land even tenure arrangements in which these farmers are operating and to address the question of inter and intra generational Cocoa production to see who are going to inherit our current generation of Cocoa farmers”
Launching the system, the Vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the move by COCOBOD is in line with government’s quest to digitize the Ghanaian economy.
“Infact our goal is to make Ghana the most digitized economy in Africa within the next two years”, said Dr Bawumia.
“The cocoa sector which accounts for about 2.5 percent of Ghana’s GDP and about 25 percent of foreign exchange earnings still pays up to 15 billion Ghana cedis cash every year to cocoa farmers and other stakeholders- cash remains the primary payment method used to purchase cocoa in ghana. The narrative must change in light of the government’s digital transformation agenda”, he added.
The move according to the Vice President will pave the way for the smooth implementation of the Cocoa farmers pension scheme.
COCOBOD is expected to begin a sensitization program ahead of the nationwide rollout.