The CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has reiterated government’s resolve to ensure cocoa farmers benefit from their toil.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire produce about 65% of the world’s cocoa but do not have effective control over the international price. The two countries through their respective cocoa institutions have agreed to adopt common policies on the marketing, storage, processing and promotion of local consumption of cocoa.
Additionally, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire pledged to put in place a common strategy, including the need to converge towards a harmonised and consolidated price to be paid to farmers, to contribute to the eradication of the smuggling of cocoa.
Speaking at a joint Ghana – Cote d’Ivoire technical committee meeting ongoing in Accra, Mr. Aidoo lamented the breakdown of such talks in the past, promising this round of talks will be sustained with a positive outcome.
“Our commitment in the past months has shown that we are up to the challenge and today’s meeting is another clear indication of our preparedness to make a difference,” Mr. Aidoo stressed.
He added: “I know, there has been a previous attempt between the two countries in the past that aimed at the same cause as today but fizzled out along the line. We cannot afford to make this another series of talk-shop.”
Mr. Aidoo was full of praise to Presidents Akufo-Addo and Quattara for initiating “this bilateral engagement and for their strong commitment to the good of the cocoa industry.”
“The essence of this continuous dialogue cannot be over emphasized considering the huge fall (40%) we have experienced in the price of cocoa in the past year, thus breaking the backbones of the economies of our two countries.
“The call is on us, and the challenge is ours to find an antidote to the poor reward our farmers receive despite their huge contributions to the chocolate industry.
“As producers of about 65% of the world’s cocoa, we (Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire) must take leadership role in ensuring fair farm gate price and sustainable cocoa industry,” the Cocobod CEO opined.
He added: “The time to realize our vision is now. Let us enter our group discussions with the mindset of coming out with solutions to better the lots of our farmers; solutions that will guarantee them at least living incomes; and solutions that will give hope to the next generation of cocoa farmers. Let us make a difference. Let us go for it.”