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Cocoa production has been boosted from its previous 778,000 metric tons under John Mahama to a current figure of 968,000 metric tons, MyNewsGh.com has learnt.
Also, COCOBOD finalized a $1.3 billion receivables-backed trade finance facility for the purchase of cocoa in Ghana in the 2018/2019 crop year.
All the above was revealed during a signing ceremony of the facility in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who made the disclosure, said the facility will be centred on equipping cocoa farmers for high crop yields and while commending farmers for the increase in production, noted there was more for improvement
“Within the past dozen and half months, we have been able to reverse the declining trend of cocoa production in Ghana from 778,000 metric tonnes to 968,000 metric tonnes, and sustained the upturn because of the productivity enhancement programmes (PEPs – i.e. hand pollination and mass pruning) which COCOBOD introduced along with our conventional CODAPEC and HI-TECH measures.” He noted.
SEven though the annual facility comes in handy to facilitate these PEPs and payment to cocoa farmers, hardly can it be relied upon for addressing the fundamental challenges.” He added.
“COCOBOD, for instance, has programmed to undertake irrigation on cocoa farms, rehabilitation of diseased and moribund farms, expansion of warehouse capacity, improvement of the conditions of roads that link cocoa communities and promotion of domestic consumption of cocoa.” He said.
“These are largely capital-base projects which require medium to long term financing and not annual facility. The imperative is that so long as these fundamental challenges remain, the full and real measure of the annual facility cannot also be realized.
It was against the foregoing backdrop that we made a call for medium to long term financing. I am happy to note that some of our friends in the international financial sector have responded positively. We urge all others who may not have been aware of this call to join this laudable endeavour. In essence, the annual facility must be complemented with medium to long term facility if the former were to bring real and meaningful impact onto the cocoa industry in Ghana.”