UTZ-Certified Farmer Advocates Organic Cocoa Farming in Ghana for More Returns and Environmental Sustainability
Mr Yayrator Glover, Chief Executive Officer of Yayra Glover Ghana Limited, an Organic Cocoa Production Company, has called on the cocoa growing sector to consider investments in organically cultivated cocoa to help the nation reclaim its place as the world’s highest producer of the crop.
He said cocoa ranked high among “luxury” foods, and the world’s best processors placed high value on organic cocoa due to its quality, fetching 600 dollars more per ton on the market.
Mr Glover said this at a learning and sharing forum of the Agro Marketing Department of the Ho Technical University.
He said processors were keen on purchasing high quality beans free of toxic chemicals and residue, therefore farmers must produce to meet standards.
Mr Glover said the organic cocoa market demanded about 30,000 tons of beans from Ghana annually, and would create thousands of jobs when considered.
He said organic cocoa cultivation helped protect the ecosystem, causing other food organisms such as snails to flourish, and was the best in an era of growing concerns over the sustainability of the environment.
Mr Glover whose company is the only licensed organic cocoa buying company in Ghana, in 2017 established his Bio-Kakao Initiative with a grant of 600,000 Euros from the Swiss government.
Yayra Glover Limited had since sustained an expanding organic cocoa industry, attracting millions of dollars of investment from top processors in Switzerland.
The Company secured partnership with Max Felchlin AG, a Swiss chocolate producer that works with farmers in ensuring quality standards.
Yayra Glover also supplies beans to Cargill, an international food conglomerate.
Mr Glover said breaking cocoa pods with machetes affected bean quality, saying that, his Company had introduced the use of wooden mallets.
He said the Company had also introduced an innovative tree pruning system, and was training pruning scouts to offer services to farmers.
The CEO said Yayra Glover Limited was working to improve agriculture and make it attractive to the youth, and was offering skills training in the sector, whiles supporting children of farmers through school.
The Company has farms at Suhum, and Hohoe in the Eastern and Volta regions respectively, and was working with over 4,500 cocoa farmers, with plans of expanding to the Ashanti Region.
The Company’s purchases had so far produced a turnover of over 10 million dollars and seeks to start processing cocoa in Ghana by 2020 after 12 years in the industry.
Mr Glover said the Company plans lifting 5,000 metric tons of cocoa beans in October 2019, and appealed to stakeholders to address challenges of logistics, lack of extension officers and bureaucracy to enable the organic cocoa industry to attract more farmers.
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