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Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have held talks on sustainability and growth of the cocoa industry in Ghana and other OACPS member States.
The Assistant Secretary-General of OACPS, Mr. Oliveira Gomez, who led a delegation to visit the Cocoa House in Accra said, the visit was to apprise themselves about new developments in Ghana’s cocoa industry.
The organisation, he added, also wants to offer its resources to Ghana to address challenges in the international cocoa trade environment and support sustainability actions.
He stated that, he would also like to see Ghana leverage its leading position among cocoa producers to rally other cocoa-producing OACPS member countries into a common front to better influence the international cocoa trade and guarantee market access to consuming countries.
The Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Operations, Dr. Emmanuel Opoku, in his response said COCOBOD has always advanced sustainability and environmentally friendly practices on cocoa farms.
He pointed out that, besides the practice of agroforestry within the cocoa sector, various programmes have also been rolled out over the years to mechanise aspects of farming practices; help farmers improve productivity on their farms and raise their incomes, among others.
Dr. Opoku stated that another important programme presently ongoing is the Cocoa Management Scheme (CMS). The scheme involves the collection of cocoa farmers’ data into a database to enable better traceability and efficient tracking of transactions within the industry.
The goal is to have a comprehensive database early next year where digital tracking can be made from communities to farms and for all cocoa transactions, he emphasized.
COCOBOD’s Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr. Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, who was also at the meeting, acknowledged that OACPS has good working relations with the European Commission and the European Parliament, and given Europe’s position as a major cocoa consuming country, OACPS can provide some insights to further improve Ghana’s trade relations.
He added that COCOBOD is open to further dialogue with OACPS and engagements with other member countries to offer its expertise when given the opportunity.
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