Cocoa Farmers’ Well-Being Programme Launched

THE Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP), aimed at developing the economic, and social sustainability of cocoa farming in Ghana, has been launched at Tema.

The CORIP will be addressing the institutional challenges of the cocoa supply chain, and as a result, find efficient ways of providing support services to cocoa growers.

The programme also aims at establishing rural service centres across the cocoa belt to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and credit imputs as well as technical support necessary for growth of the cocoa production.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Francis Oppong, Deputy Chief Executive, Ghana Cocoa Board said cocoa farmers are poor and less competitive in spite of the cash crop’s immeasurable contribution to national development.

He said: “Cocoa farmers are the bedrock of our industry and yet they appear to be the most vulnerable link in the cocoa value chain.”

Dr. Oppong said the average yield of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer is relatively low and that “low productivity leads to low income and poverty among cocoa farmers”.

He said the farmers lack the needed resources to invest in the requisite imputs to enhance the productivity of their farms as well as achieving better livelihoods, which include education for their children.

Dr. Oppong mentioned high stock of over-aged trees, high population of aged farmers, diseased trees, diseases and pest and lack of access to imputs as some of the factors undermining the lives of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

According to him, the Cocobod had outlined unpublished measures to make cocoa farming more lucrative to attract and sustain the interest of the youth.

Ms Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation, who officially launched the CORIP, said the Netherlands aims at bringing together all those on the cocoa value chain to work at finding solutions to common problems to make the industry more sustainable.

The Netherland Embassy in Ghana is co-funding the 14 million Euro project with private sector actors.

Ghana is the second largest world producer of cocoa which rakes in an average of two billion dollars into her purse annually.

 

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