Two bodies invest in cocoa producing communities
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Armajaro Trading Limited have invested $10 million in cocoa producing communities as part of efforts to improve the livelihoods of the farmers and their families.
The investment, executed under the COCOBOD-Armajaro Traceability Foundation (CATF), a not-for-profit initiative by the two institutions, was done between 2005 to date.
The money was used to provide various social amenities, including the provision of 50,000 malaria bed nets, training of 45,000 farmers in the certification capacity enhancement curriculum, which was established by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and Armajaro, the drilling of 160 boreholes and the construction of five school blocks, among others.
These came to light when Armajaro Trading, pioneers in the cocoa traceability project, presented a cheque for $500,000 to the COCOBOD as part-payment of the cost incurred by the board in the operations of the project.
Cocoa traceability involves the investigation of the origin of cocoa beans to be sure that they are legitimately sourced.
The initiative is aimed at limiting the smuggling of cocoa, while ensuring that only properly sourced cocoa beans are sold to international cocoa buyers, most of whom tend to reject ill-sourced ones.
The, said at the event in Accra that COCOBOD was impressed with Armajaro’s commitment to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers through the foundation.
“We believe that what you are doing is good for the farmer, COCOBOD and the country, but we think you can do more,” he said.
The African Head of Armajaro Trading, Mr Rahul Gopinath, said in an interview that his outfit was committed to making the cocoa traceability project a reality and was now working at increasing the output.
Output levels of the traceable cocoa is currently around 70,000 metric tones and Mr Gopinath said the target was to raise it to 100,000 tones in the coming years.
By Maxwell Adombila Akalaare/Graphic Business/Ghana
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