Cocobod To Solve Farmers Challenges -CEO
The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) is poised to help farmers solve their challenges to enhance production and the sustainability of the cocoa sector.
Mr. Anthony Fofie, Chief Executive of Cocobod, said the Board would educate farmers on modern farming practices to help increase production per hectare.
Mr. Fofie was inaugurating a 10-member Steering Committee of the Cocobod, tasked with the responsibility of identifying bottlenecks and developing plans for the improvement in priority areas of the cocoa sector to boost production.
The Steering Committee has Mr. Anthony Fofie as its Chairman and Mrs. Rita Owusu Amankwah, National Coordinator of Ghana Cocoa Platform, as member Secretary.
Mr. Fofie said it was time the Ghana cocoa farmer adopted modern production techniques to enhance productivity.
“We have been in the production system for some time now and must not limit ourselves to fermentation and drying of cocoa beans alone but to develop effective planning to boost production”, he said.
Mr. Fofie announced that because of the challenges of climate change, the Cocobod had developed a variety of cocoa seedlings that would suit the weather conditions and charged farmers to take advantage of it to increase production.
The Chief Executive noted that for Ghana Cocoa to make more gains in the world market, it should increase production while maintaining quality.
Mr. Fofie said the cocoa sector was also faced with issues of unhealthy labour practices and urged the Steering Committee to address such challenges, adding that, the government was subsidising inputs at 79 per cent for cocoa farmers to increase production and help sustain the economy.
Mr. Dominic Sam, Country Director, UNDP, said setting up the Steering Committee was the beginning of structures to help improve the economics of the sector, since the platform is an important process and urged all stakeholders to come together to make it work.
“The platform should concern itself to challenges of illegal mining “Galamsey” and production, since Ghana’s economic prospects are in cocoa development”, he said.
Mr. Sam said the UNDP was interested in seeing Ghana’s cocoa flourish and called on all stakeholders to come together to boost production.