Cocoa is Ghana

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has climaxed the World Cocoa Day with a durbar of chiefs and farmers with a call on Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of consuming cocoa for a healthier life.

The occasion, which coincided with the 70th Anniversary celebration of COCOBOD, brought together various stakeholders of the cocoa industry to interact and celebrate 70 Years on : mobilizing for a sustainable cocoa economy.

Speaking at the grand durbar at the Jubilee Park, Kumasi, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo lauded the efforts of Ghanaian cocoa farmers over the past years and hinted of plans to motivate cocoa farmers. He disclosed that the 2017 National Best Cocoa Farmer award package will include a 3-bedroom house with a solar facility. He was optimistic that the package will go a long way to encourage farmers give off their best.

Hon. Boahen Aidoo was however not happy that the average production per hectare in Ghana is 450kg while other producing countries are able to achieve about 2,000kg/ha and promised to aggressively address this challenge through the implementation of programmes such as the Hand Pollination Programme, Cocoa Mass Spraying, Subsidized Fertilizer, and Cocoa Farms Rehabilitation Programmmes among others.

According to Hon. Aidoo, in addition to these productivity enhancement initiatives, the Board’s campaign to promote local cocoa consumption will help to check price volatility of the country’s major export commodity. He called on all to consume cocoa daily to take advantage of its nutritional and health benefits.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Chairman of the Occasion, was grateful to COCOBOD for the choice of Kumasi as the venue for such a significant event. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II emphasized the need for local cocoa consumption adding, the promotion drive should start among school children to help them develop critical thinking ability required for excellent academic work.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II charged COCOBOD and Government to ensure value addition to the cocoa produced in Ghana and added that the move will help to sustain the industry that has become the backbone of Ghana’s economy for years.

H. E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, in a keynote address disclosed that every Ghanaian school child will be given a bar of chocolate soon each day as part of the national cocoa consumption drive.

The Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang paid glowing tribute to the fore-fathers of the cocoa industry and assured cocoa farmers of good policies and programmes that will help them maximize productivity and income.

Mr. Richard Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in a fraternal message praised COCOBOD and Ghanaian cocoa farmers for feeding the world’s chocolate industries with premium quality cocoa and assured of the global cocoa industry’s support as COCOBOD marked its 70 years anniversary.

A representative from the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), use the occasion to laud the efforts of cocoa farmers in ensuring sustainable cocoa production and called on them to observe good agronomic practices to increase their farm yield.

There were also fraternal messages from Ministers of Food & Agriculture, Gender Children Social Protection, Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministries with each pledging their unflinching support in the implementation and sustenance of the new policies and programmes of COCOBOD.