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Today, the 1st of October, marks an important day in Ghana’s cocoa industry. It is a day that has been set aside every year since 2005, to recognise the important role that our hardworking farmers continue to play in the sustenance of Ghana’s Cocoa industry, and to motivate them to do more in enhancing their livelihoods and to grow the cocoa economy.
The Cocoa Day is also intended to intensify the awareness on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa and to promote its consumption among Ghanaians.
Since the commencement of the Cocoa Day celebration in 2005, our farmers and stakeholders within the industry converge at one place to mark the day with a grand durbar and other activities, with the exception of the year 2014 when there was an outbreak of the Ebola disease which made it impossible for the Cocoa Day to be held as scheduled.
As we mark the 2020 Cocoa Day today, the President of La Côte d’lvoire, H.E. Alassane Ouattara is honouring Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board and his counterpart in La Cote d’lvoire, Mr. Kone Brahima Yves, Director General of Le Conseil Du Café-Cacao for their exemplary leadership in the realisation of the Living Income Differential (LID), which has resulted in significant increase in the Producer Price of Cocoa in their respective countries.
About a week ago, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana announced a new Producer Price of GH₵660 per bag of 64kg of cocoa for the 2020/2021 crop season, which officially begins on Friday, 2nd October 2020. The price increase is a clear demonstration of Government’s commitment to use ingenuity to improve the livelihood of farmers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic which has negatively affected incomes of many across the world including our cherished cocoa farmers.
We take pride in working tirelessly to better the lot of our hardworking farmers who have toiled over the years to produce premium quality beans for local consumption and for export.
This Government has given an earlier indication to launch the operation of a Cocoa Farmer Pension Scheme today as part of the opening of the 2020/2021 Cocoa Season. However, due to a wider consultation and due diligence being carried out by the National Pensions & Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the official launch has been postponed for a short while to enable the Authority to complete its work.
While this Government continues with its efforts to implement policies that will help improve and sustain the cocoa industry, we as a people need to take advantage of the numerous health and nutritional benefits that come with the daily consumption of cocoa. We, therefore, encourage every Ghanaian, as a healthy lifestyle, to consume cocoa daily for a better health.
Also, significant strides have been made in our resolve to make Ghana a cocoa consumption country. We have not reneged on our pledge to ensure that 50% of the cocoa produced in Ghana is processed into various forms to promote Government’s consumption agenda.
Three years down the line, after rolling out several campaigns to encourage local processing of cocoa to boost its consumption in Ghana and beyond, we have made positive gains, such that local processing is currently hovering around 40%. We will continue to intensify our campaign to make cocoa consumption part of our daily life.
I wish, on behalf of the Board of Directors, Management and staff of Ghana Cocoa Board, to extend our warmest wishes particularly to our cherished cocoa farmers for their dedication to the cocoa business, and all other key stakeholders for their respective roles in ensuring a favourable cocoa economy.
We wish you a fruitful cocoa season. AYEKOO.
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