The Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Association (COCOSHE) has raised serious concern with the findings of a survey conducted by IMANI Africa in Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The group said “… we find the ideas being perpetuated by Imani Africa, that Ghana’s cocoa sector is one full of hopeless inefficiencies and resentment among farmers, as not being the true reflection of the feelings and thought of cocoa farmers.”
Imani Africa recently published result of a survey on Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The survey report, sponsored by the government of the Netherlands, paints an overall bleak picture about the state of Ghana’s cocoa industry and its future outlook.
It gravely downplays the importance of COCOSHE and its work as an organisation which fights for the interests of cocoa farmers in Ghana.
It suggests that farmer confidence in the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is low.
Also, Imani Africa drew the conclusion that the historical performance of COCOBOD leaves doubts about the ability of COCOBOD to independently improve its operations and by extension the cocoa sector.
But contrary to the claims made in the report, COCOSHE in a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, said Ghana’s cocoa sector is comparable to none, in terms of its socio-economic importance to the country.
“It is in a league of its own among the heavily state-managed industries. It is a national success story which must be celebrated, while earnest steps are taken to resolve the challenges therein,” according to the statement.
“Indeed,” it said “we farmers also recognise that COCOBOD itself faces some difficulties and limitations, as well, in its operations.”
It added that ” in determining the producer price for instance, we farmers know and understand that the price of cocoa on the international market can be a blessing one season and a curse the next; and that consistently in recent years, it has been the latter.”
“Like all other stakeholders in the cocoa sector, recognises that there are numerous challenges which are faced by our members, the farmers,” the statement observed.
” Indeed, the need to help resolve these challenges is the reason for COCOSHE’s existence and it is at the heart of all our activities,” it said.
BY Melvin Tarlue