The Akufo-Addo administration acting through Cocobod is to inject a 600m USD stimulus package into the cocoa sector through a Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Program which will among other things step up Ghana’s production to 1.5m tones by 2027.
The stimulus will target rehabilitation of plantations, improvement in storage and domestic processing, stimulation of local consumption as well as efforts to increase output on farms among others and spans a 7-year period.
The Akufo-Addo Administration believes that Cocoa, being a major pillar of our economy cannot be allowed to survive at its own pace. Cocoa farmers who have been the backbone of the Ghanaian economy already have good news for 2020 in cocoa price structure but now get an additional dose through this stimulus package.
At a news briefing in Peduase on Sunday of the sideline of the 64th Cabinet Meeting, COCOBOD Officials led by the Chief Executive Officer Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the stimulus package should increase cocoa production at the end of the 7 years from the current figure of around 850,000 metric tons to over 1milion metric tons.
He said this is the first time Ghana is focusing on a medium to Long term financing of cocoa.
“Over the years we have been taking annual syndication and when you take annual syndication invariable intended for operation purposes it doesn’t bring any capital injection into the sector, more or less Growth is restrained and that is how come when the swollen shoot became severe there was no way to deal with it because the annual syndication which is intended to pay the farmers cannot be used for capital projects” he said.
The COCOBOD CEO said government was opting for the 7 years’ facility which gives space to operate and to improve the sector adding that the loan facility is made up of Commercial and Developmental benefits.
He said the facility is before Parliament and once it gets Parliamentary approval COCBOD will be going to South Africa to engage the Africa Development bank to facilitate the disbursement of the money to Ghana.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo also disclosed that COCOBOD will now want to do more processing of cocoa.
“It is the President’s vision to process not more than 50% of our cocoa beans in Ghana. What is happening is that the cocoa shells constitute 20% of waste. This waste which is so important for the farmer and serves as organic manure can then go back to the farm and so processing is so important to not just adding value but also to enhance productivity” he added.