Cocoa sector players, Otumfuo pledge support for Cargill’s new initiative

The Ministers for Food & Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Executives of COCOBOD and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II have pledged their support to Cargill in its bid to improve the cocoa sector.

In separate courtesy calls paid on the sector Ministers and the Asantehene following the launch of Cargill’s Ghana’s Licensed Buying Company (LBC) Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Ltd. on Tuesday April 11, 2017, a high level delegation from Cargill led by the President of Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate Mr. Harold Poelma, conferred with the respective stakeholders on sustainable ways of improving the cocoa sector and delivering increased benefit to Ghanaian farmers.

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten said “We all know Cargill and their history with the cocoa sector in Ghana. I am glad that they are expanding their business lines after about ten years of setting up their processing facility in Tema which myself and His Excellency former President John Agyekum Kufuor commissioned. I want to reiterate that government’s key focus is to make the Private sector the engine of economic growth and thus, interventions like this are welcome. As a Ministry, we will make our expertise available to you in order that communities where you operate benefit fully from your business” he said.

On his part, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto thanked the delegation for the visit and for choosing to invest in the Agricultural sector in Ghana. He added that the Government is fully committed to alleviating socio-economic challenges in the cocoa sector and called for support from Cargill and other industry players in this regard.

“We are aware that the cocoa-value chain faces a lot of challenges from planting to processing of the beans. In order to sustain the sector, Government is placing considerable emphasis on these issues. With support from key players like Cargill, we can cut down post-harvest losses, give technical training to farmers to enhance productivity, support farmer groups and add value to our beans locally” he said.

In a related development, His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also extolled the achievement of Cargill in the global cocoa sector urging them to be even more focused on improving the livelihood of the Ghanaian farmer as they venture into new operations in Ghana. He made these comments at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday April 12, when executives of Cargill called on him to introduce their LBC, Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Limited which is headquartered in Kumasi. “We have known Cargill all these years. I am excited to have you here. I will urge you to give serious attention to the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. As you said in your remarks, Ghana is cocoa and cocoa is Ghana and this is only true because of our hardworking farmers. The only way to sustain the sector is for all the players to support the farmers”, he said.

Earlier on Monday April 10, the high powered delegation visited the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) where they discussed COCOBOD’S vision for the cocoa sector and the strategic role that Cargill can play in achieving that and potential future investments. The Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD in charge of Quality Control and Assurance, Dr. Adu Ampomah who led the discussion said “We are inviting all players in the industry on board as we work to improve the cocoa sector and achieve the President’s target of 1 million tonnes annual production. You can be assured of our utmost support as we jointly work for the cocoa sector in Ghana”.

It is expected that these collaborations will help Cargill contribute to improving the cocoa sector as it rolls out its new business operation- Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Limited- in Ghana.