Business News of Friday, 10 February 2017
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto is confident his outfit will exceed the production target set by government for the cocoa sector for this year.
According to him, government has begun strategizing to restore the cocoa sector into a high yielding state.
“The fact that cocoa has been moved from the ministry of finance to agriculture where it actually belongs is already a step in the right decision. Every other country you can think of in Africa, Asia, and South America have such commodities with the Ministry of Agriculture, not with the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
The NPP government has announced a production target of over one million metric tonnes per annum for cocoa through new strategies over the next four years.
Although Dr. Akoto accuses the erstwhile government of mismanaging the cocoa sector to its worst stage, he tells Citi Business News he will exceed the one million metric tonnes per anum target.
“This is a big reform and the President is signaling that yes he is serious about agriculture in this country. First of all, you know that cocoa like the rest of agriculture products has been declining from the peak of one million metric tons in 2010, 2011 and last year we got barely 800,000. So production is actually going down. So the President believes that if we bring cocoa back to the mother ministry, we will give the right agronomic attention to it in order to reverse it.”
“We pledged in our manifesto that we will ensure we go back to the one million metric tons in the four years of our administration. I am confident that we will exceed that one million by the end of the term of this government,” he added.
Ghana’s cocoa output has been dropping from the last time it achieved the over 1 million metric tonnes crop yield in 2010/11 crop season.
The figure has since declined from 879,343 in 2011/12 to 740,254.60 metric tonnes in the 2014/15 crop season.