Nana Amaniampong Boa-teng, Nkosuohene of Akyem-Kukurantumi, has complained of the high cost of cocoa products in the country, preventing farmers from benefiting from their hard work.
He said some cocoa farmers had contributed to the cocoa industry for many years, yet, “they have never tasted chocolate in their lives”.
Nana Boateng who was speaking at the official opening of the Central Nursery of Tree Global, a tree nursing company at Tafo, called on stakeholders in the cocoa industry to address the issue as well as the living conditions of cocoa farmers.
According to Nana Boateng, chocolate, the end product of cocoa and a delicacy, should not be so expensive that “we the producers of the raw material cannot buy”.
Tree Global, in partnership with Mondelez, the largest buyer of Ghana’s cocoa, is supplying more than 100,000 cocoa seedlings to be distributed to cocoa farmers this cocoa season under a special project to improve the livelihoods of farmers.
So far, more than 60,000 of the seedlings have been distributed free of charge to cocoa farmers at Bosuso, in the Fanteakwa District, Kofikorm in the New Juaben municipality and other communities in Upper-West Akyem and Suhum districts.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, who commended Tree Global for the innovation of the seedlings using environmental friendly technology, said the agricultural sector needed an injection of greater technology to modernise the industry.
He said government was committed to improving the standard of living of cocoa famers, and help them to produce quality cocoa to be globally competitive.
Mr Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, Eastern Regional Minister, said the new technology would ensure high yield, and help in preventing illegal mining, popularly called “galamsey”, which had caused devastation to farmlands and water bodies.