Ghana has announced a $600million capital injection into the cocoa sector aimed at transforming the cocoa industry. The Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Aidoo made this announcement at a press briefing at Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region over the weekend.
Joseph Aidoo noted that the USD$600Million set to be committed is a 7year medium to long term facility from the the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Cocobod CEO emphasized that COCOBOD seeks to transform cocoa farming from its old traditional methods into modern ways.
The funds, will finance various initiatives such as mass cocoa spraying exercises, agronomic support and input subsidies for farmers to help increase production. The package known as the Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Programme, which will among other things step up Ghana’s production to 1.5million tonnes by 2027.
The stimulus will target rehabilitation of plantations, improvement in storage and domestic processing, stimulation of local consumption as well as efforts to increase output on farms among others and spans a 7-year period.
About US$330 million of the funds will go directly to support cocoa farmers whilst $200 million would be used to support processing of cocoa beans locally in Ghana before export
“I must emphasize that this has come at the initiative of President Akufo-Addo who made direct contact with Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara and the AfDB in facilitating this. They have initiated the Ghana-Ivory Coast Joint Cooperation.”
He also added that the partnership between Ghana and Ivory Coast has elevated both countries from ‘taker of price’ into ‘giver of prices’ on the international market.
According to the CEO, the facility is to help the COCOBOD to undertake productivity enhancement programmes such as hand pollination of cocoa farms, irrigation of cocoa farms, rehabilitation of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) infested farms, rehabilitation of moribund cocoa farms and increasing and improving warehousing capacity.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire according to the CEO, have received global commendation for the institution of the living income differential policy, which has improved the livelihoods and living standards of cocoa farmers.