Business News of 2014-05-20

Gov’t advised to turn to cocoa for economic relief

In the current economic crisis Ghana finds itself, several theories have been formulated to find a short-to-medium term solutions.

While others blame massive corruption within the executive arm of government, others think the swelling of the public wage bill as a result of the introduction of the Single Spine Pay Policy is to blame.

Others still think the advent of oil discovery which has led to the neglect of other areas of the economy must be critically looked at.

One of such in the latter school is Dr Kwaku Afriyie, a cocoa farmer and a former minister of state.

Dr Afriyie has asked government to turn to cocoa in this “dire economic position”.

“We should start with what we already have,” he advised.

‘Food for the gods’

Dr Afriyie, who was a Health Minister during the presidency of John Kufuor, said emerging markets like India and China are turning to cocoa and so the government of Ghana must give the sector more attention than is given now.

“It was not for nothing that they called cocoa the food for the gods,” he said on TV3.

He recommended that leaders of La Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana should collaborate in controlling world prices of the cash crop irrespective of perception that that European markets will turn against them.

Currently, the two West African nations are the world’s leading producers of cocoa.

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