Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo is currently embarking on a ten day working visit of the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern regions with his some of his management team. The visit is to familiarise himself with the cocoa growing communities and interface with farmers and COCOBOD staff on the field.
At a press briefing held in Kumasi to expose the media to latest developments in the cocoa industry, Hon Aidoo hinted that Ghana is optimistic of achieving production yield of 900.000mt of cocoa for the 2018/2019 crop year.
Hon Aidoo stated that although Ghana’s cocoa sector is faced with various challenges, COCOBOD is handling the challenges through the implementation of its productivity enhancement programmes which include mass cocoa pruning, cocoa farm rehabilitation, hand pollination and the provision of subsidized fertilizer under the Cocoa Disease and Pest Control Programme (CODAPEC) among others are expected to improve cocoa sustainability.
He bemoaned the cocoa price volatility on the world market over the years and disease infested farms in most of the cocoa regions. This he observed were inimical to cocoa sustainability and called for the rehabilitation of the diseased and moribund cocoa farms which account for at least 40% of Ghana’s cocoa tree stock.
He added that in order to curtail the situation, the government of Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire are in fruitful discussions to access loans of USD600 million each from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to rehabilitate disease infested and moribund cocoa farms.
‘Pursuant to this agenda, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will officially cut the sod for the commencement of the rehabilitation programme simultaneously at pillar 34 in the Western region where these two countries share a common boundary on the 23rd of August, 2018’, he added.
He later in the company of some top management members toured the Olam Cocoa Processing Plant at Kaase in Kumasi. He commended them for the good work and pledged COCOBOD’s continuous support in bean supply agreement.
The team continued the tour and visited some cocoa farms and Cocoa District Offices in the New Edubiase and Bekwai districts and interacted with the farmers and staff.