Gov’t Takes Steps To Revamp Cocoa Sector - President

President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, has underlined the government’s unswerving determination to go the extra mile revamp the cocoa industry and raise production levels.

They were going to work harder to push up the crop’s production by 50 per cent within the coming three years.

He added that, per-hectare yield was also going to be increased from the current 450 kilograms to 1,000 kilograms in the next 10 years.

He was speaking at the 70th anniversary celebration of Cocobod at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi.

The event which coincided with the World Cocoa Day was held under the theme “70 years on; mobilizing for a sustainable cocoa economy”.

President Akufo-Addo said the government would continue to put the farmer at the heart of its thinking and activities.

It was eager to make sure that cocoa farming became more attractive and rewarding.

The farmer, he indicated, should derive optimal returns on investment and hard work.

He said it was on the account of this that, despite the sharp decline in the world price of the crop, the producer price paid to them would remain unchanged.

He added that measures were also being taken to provide adequate cushioning      for the Ghanaian farmer from any adverse international price of the commodity.

President Akufo-Addo encouraged the youth to take advantage of the opportunities in the cocoa industry to make a living for themselves.

He used the occasion to underline the need for more local consumption of cocoa and said the benefits were enormous.

He announced that the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Ghana Education Service and Cocobod, would come out with a feeding programme under which school children would be served cocoa drink at school and given a chocolate each day.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asanteheme, drew attention to the nutritional value of cocoa and asked that the price of cocoa products was made affordable to all Ghanaians.

He spoke of the contribution of cocoa to the national economy and said everything should be done to sustain the growth of the sector.

Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of Cocobod, said they were considering a policy direction aimed at improving local processing of the crop.

They have an ambitious quest to promote the processing of at least 50 per cent of cocoa to boost local consumption.

“We are also currently mapping out strategies to address price volatility and price fall at the world market and associated problems which usually leave our farmers worse off”, he added.