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Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has reiterated the industry regulator’s resolve to ensure sustainable cocoa production in Ghana.
He said COCOBOD would continue its engagement with the European Union (EU) to reach a holistic and realistic approach to achieving this goal.
Hon Aidoo made these assertions when the new European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Irchad Razaaly, and the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Jeroen Verheul, paid a courtesy call on the Management of COCOBOD.
According to Hon Aidoo, though the dialogue between COCOBOD and the EU had been insightful, the two parties still had some work to do together to reach a common understanding on some of the issues and practices within Ghana’s cocoa sector, including agreement on feasible steps which can be taken to improve sustainability.
“We want to be transparent and accountable, as much as possible, to our stakeholders so that Ghana can continue to provide the world with premium cocoa that is not associated with negativities”, he said.
Hon Aidoo disclosed that COCOBOD had introduced various programmes and interventions to mechanise farming practices and help farmers improve productivity on their farms using a vertical farming approach and agroforestry. This, he said, was in addition to raising farmers’ incomes through the US$400.00 per tonne Living Income Differential (LID) pricing mechanism.
On his part, the new EU Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Razaaly, said the EU was also keen on deepening its relations with Ghana and addressing issues of common interest to both parties. He indicated that the upcoming EU regulations are in response to growing European consumer concerns about the sources of their food.
He said the EU as such does not want to import food and other item associated with “negative effects”, hence, it would continue to engage with COCOBOD to find ways to address issues of common interest to Ghana and the European market.
Adding to that, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Verheul, said the Netherlands would remain an important cocoa trading partner to Ghana and continue to play its key role in feeding the European market.
He said as part of plans to redefine its relationship with Ghana “from Aid to Trade”, the Netherlands was much interested in greater cooperation between the two countries to improve the cocoa sector. The Netherlands, he added, could provide assistance through technology and investment as Ghana seeks to localize cocoa value addition.
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