Business News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The Ghana COCOBOD has commenced stakeholders’ consultations on improving Ghana’s land tenure system to favour the cultivation of cocoa. Ghana’s cumbersome procedure of registering customary land rights has sidelined most smallholder cocoa farmers.
This has also been cited as contributing to the lower yields recorded for the past couple of years.
COCOBOD is, however, targeting at least 1 million metric tonnes of cocoa by the end of 2020.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the issue, the CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said he is confident the consensus from stakeholders on the matter should help improve the crop yield of cocoa farmers.
“People who plant cocoa trees have increased rights in the land, that is security of tenure compared to those who plant annual and other food crops. From the day you plant till the day that the cocoa tree dies, you will continue to use the land. That is why we are encouraging many of our farmers to go into cocoa farming,” he asserted.
“We are also urging our land owners to open up because previously land owners were not opening up to some non-owning persons such as migrants,” Mr. Aidoo added.
The COCOBOD Boss was speaking at the sidelines of a high-level meeting involving traditional authorities and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
According to a research conducted by both the WCF and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) in 2016, majority (72%) of cocoa farmers in Ghana do not have formal documents covering their land transactions.
Also, the high cost of land levies by landowners was reported as a major challenge to cocoa farming.
The Country Director of the World Cocoa Foundation, Vincent Frimpong Manu, therefore, impressed on authorities the need to address customary land issues confronting cocoa farmers since about 80% of land in Ghana is under the control of customary authorities.