Confab on cocoa freight negotiation opens in Accra

THE 2018/2019 edition of the annual Cocoa Freight Negotiation Conference has opened in Accra.

The conference, first to be held in Ghana, is used to determine globally accepted charges for cocoa shipments.

On the theme, “Re-positioning shipping in the cocoa supply chain to advance Ghana’s development agenda”, the three-day gathering brought together players in the global cocoa shipment industry from across the world.


It is expected that at the end of the conference, participants would settle on charges which would be beneficial to industry players.


At the opening session in Accra on Wednesday, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Nana Oduro Owusu, assured shipping lines that “there is business ahead of us.”


According to Nana Oduro Owusu, the COCOBOD was putting in place measures to increase the volumes of cocoa the country produces, which should reflect in the reduction in freight prices.


He said the COCOBOD was embarking on interventions, including hand pollination, pruning of cocoa trees, replacing aged cocoa plants, among others, as the measures to increase cocoa yields.


For the hand pollination exercise for instance, Nana Oduro Owusu said piloting was to commence later this year with a target of between 100 to 200 pods on each plant in anticipation of the one million tonnes target in the coming years.


The Managing Director of the Cocoa Marketing Company Limited, Joe Forson, said the 2017/2018 was a challenging year with a decline of about 40 per cent in the price of the commodity.


He was hopeful the price would pick up as the country aims to process more than the 20 per cent of the beans the country did in the 2017/2018 farming season.


Ms  Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, said her outfit was collaborating with the shipping lines to engender openness and transparency in the trade for the benefit of all stakeholders.


She said the expansion of the Takoradi and Tema Ports, the introduction of the paperless system, among others, were to enhance operations at the port for efficiency.


Chairman of the occasion and a Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, on his part, commended stakeholders for their work over the years to maintain Ghana’s premium quality.


He said the government was committed to the development of the cocoa sector than ever, and would do what it takes to better the lot of the stakeholders, hoping that they would agree on a mutually beneficial price for cocoa shipment.





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