COCOBOD cautioned against untargeted fertilizer subsidy

Business News of Thursday, 7 September 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

2017-09-07

Henry Kerali, the Country Director of the World Bank in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone

The World Bank wants the Ghana COCOBOD to massively restructure its operations if it is to restore growth in Ghana’s cocoa industry.

The Bank has among others impressed on the cocoa industry regulator to target its fertilizer subsidy program at needed communities.

The World Bank has also suggested the need to diversify the marketing strategy for the cash crop.

The comments come on the back of dwindling prices of cocoa on the international market and how the development has impacted on Ghana’s economy.

Speaking in an interview with Citi Business News, the Country Director of the World Bank in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry Kerali stressed the COCOBOD must do more to protect the industry.

“Over and beyond the appointment of new CEOs and Board of Directors, we also need to look at the marketing and support structures.”

“The subsidies program that COCOBOD undertakes, there are some that need to be reviewed and changed; subsidies need to be targeted and ensured that they reach the farmers and they also do not need to distort the overall market.

So these are some of the ideas that the new strategy is looking at,” Mr. Kerali also hinted of plans by the government to indentify new strategies to revamp operations in the cocoa subsector.

The world price of cocoa has dropped by 40%.

For instance, over the last one year, cocoa price on the London Stock Exchange has dropped sharply from about 3,000 dollars per metric ton to 1,800 dollars.

This notwithstanding, the Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has stressed that government will protect farmers despite the decline.

In a recent announcement, Dr. Akoto assured that it will maintain its buying rate for cocoa purchase from Ghanaian farmers to incentivize them to increase production.

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