A 17-member delegation from the Standard Bank Group, parent company of Stanbic Bank-Ghana, has met with the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, as part of the company’s immersion programme of providing learning opportunities on how to grow Africa’s business and banking sectors.
Briefing the delegation on COCOBOD’s operations, Mr Aidoo outlined the numerous economic contributions of the Board to Ghana and the world cocoa economy.
According to him, Ghana is second to La Cote d’Ivoire in terms of top cocoa producing nations and produces premium quality cocoa beans to feed the world’s confectionery market.
He revealed that Ghana was producing about 20 per cent world cocoa annually and together with La Cote d’Ivoire, both nations produce about 60 per cent.
Mr Aidoo indicated that currently, Ghana produces an average of 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa yearly and this translates into about $2 billion in revenue.
He bemoaned that revenue accruing to La Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana annually is around $6 billion, an amount he believes is very low considering the fact that the world cocoa market is valued at an estimated $100 billion.
According to the Chief Executive, the low revenue had forced some farmers to sell off their farmlands to illegal gold miners, a development he says poses a threat to the survival of Ghana’s cocoa industry and the world cocoa economy at large.
Mr Boahen Aidoo told the team that apart from the falling global cocoa prices that affect farmers, the issue of climate change has become a major threat to the sustainability of the cocoa sector, adding that various steps are being taken to ameliorate the effect of climate on cocoa production in the country.
He further stated that COCOBOD has introduced the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) such as the rehabilitation of cocoa farms, mass pruning, and hand pollination among other interventions, aimed at ensuring increased and sustainable cocoa production in Ghana.
For his part, the leader of the Standard Bank Group, Mr. Steve Hall commended COCOBOD for its enormous contribution to the world cocoa sector. He pledged his bank’s continued support in the Board’s annual syndicated Loan Facility for the purchase of cocoa.
The meeting in Accra is part of a programme for 80 chief executives of the Standard Bank Group, and Ghana has been identified as one of the countries that offers mind expansion experience and provides opportunities to grow Africa’s businesses.
The team later visited the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) and Cocoa Marketing Company, Tema (CMC) to have a first-hand experience on the activities of the Board.