The CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo fears the country could lose a significant size of cocoa lands to galamsey activities if funds to improve the livelihoods of farmers delay any further.
As a result, the Ghana COCOBOD has impressed on the African Development Bank (AfDB) to expedite processes in granting request for funding to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers.
Ghana and Ivory Coast have jointly put in a request for funding from the AfDB.
The support is among others to support farmers who have been affected in the cutting of unproductive, diseased and over aged cocoa trees for replanting.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo made the appeal at the World Cocoa Forum partnership meetings in Washington.
According to him, the cocoa rehabilitation programme, “achieved little results in the past despite the supply of free seedlings to farmers because the intervention overlooked two critical issues, namely, the loss of household income and security of land tenure.”
“Note, this is not a local problem. Cote d’Ivoire faces same. The two countries have jointly put in a request for funding from the African Development Bank. The sooner the funding the better for Ghana, else I am afraid we may lose a sizeable amount of our cocoa farmland to galamsey.”
The cocoa rehabilitation programme, is but one of the couple of interventions that the cocoa industry regulator is implementing to improve the yield of farmers and grow the cocoa sector.
Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo has made a strong case for the international community to work to reverse the dwindling prices of the cash crop on the international market.
Citing experiences from industry researchers, he maintained that the recent price drop is viewed generally as an issue of over-production.
“Producers are therefore expected to manage their side of the Demand-Supply balance by reducing the quantity of cocoa presented on the world market. It must, however, be noted that cocoa production is not easily amenable to control in the short-to-medium term, as the case may be with oil and other industrial production processes.”
“As partners in the global cocoa economy, we have the responsibility to spearhead all efforts in addressing the underlying factors responsible for the recent price trends which put the life of the cocoa farmer in great jeopardy.”
The COCOBOD boss added, “I therefore charge members of the global cocoa fraternity here gathered, whether as producers, processors, manufacturers, bankers, financiers, speculators, hedgers, concerned CSOs, NGOs, or consumers of cocoa to help use our positions and resources to address this concern.”