Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says as part of the drive to increase production to the targeted one million tonnes, COCOBOD has introduced various interventions, including hand pollination, mass pruning and CODAPEC-HITECH among others.
He mentioned that the pollination, combined with fertilizer application and the cocoa farms irrigation project is likely to restore cocoa production, adding that, through artificial pollination, per hectare yield of the crop could hit two tonnes from the current average of 400 kilograms.
The COCOBOD Chief Executive was speaking at a validation workshop aimed at soliciting ideas from sector stakeholders towards the reintroduction of the Ghana Cocoa Platform.
Mr. Aidoo indicated that, although the world cocoa market price has not been stable for some time, COCOBOD has put in place measures to ensure that remunerative farm-gate prices are paid to farmers in an effort to motivate them, improve their livelihoods and sustain production.
He further stated that the move will help curb the menace of illegal small-scale mining and other issues currently confronting the cocoa sector.
On the reintroduction of the Cocoa Platform, Mr. Aidoo explained that the Ghana Cocoa Platform is back to help boost the crop production and urged promoters to place the cocoa farmer at the forefront of the industry.
Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Vincent Akomea also explained that the platform will particularly take the views of the cocoa farmers and support stakeholders in the cocoa sector.
He pointed out that the platform will be led by COCOBOD with UNDP providing technical advice, facilitation and organization support to set up and run the platform.
“The Chairman of the platform will be the Chief Executive of COCOBOD. This is highly advantageous as it brings a high level of government ownership to the platform”, he said.
On his part, the President of the World Cocoa Foundation, Mr. Richard Scobey stated that consistent growth of Ghana’s cocoa sector has attracted massive foreign investments.
“We are very impressed with the quality and sustainability of the cocoa produced in Ghana. The WCF and our partners are very committed to partnering with COCOBOD and the farmers of Ghana on key sustainability issues.
The Ghana Cocoa Platform was established in 2013 under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to improve the value chain of Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The workshop brought together various actors in the cocoa value chain, including the cocoa fertilizer suppliers, farmers, agronomists, exporters and buyers.