EcoCare Ghana, Solidaridad in collaboration with Voice Network has launched the 2022 Cocoa Barometer report with a call on industry players and government to increase cocoa prices to achieve the needed sustainability and curb the issue of deforested cultivation.
The Cocoa Barometer is a biennial publication with the aim of creating an up-to-date, fair, and clear overview of the state of sustainability in the cocoa sector.
This year’s report highlighted, on environmental and social problems in global cocoa supply chains which were likely to continue since companies were reluctant to pay farmers a substantial amount of money to relieve them of poverty.
In an online presentation, Mr Anthony Fountain, Managing Director of the VOICE Network and coauthor of the Cocoa Barometer, in Accra yesterday, noted that the report encompassed three broader things: good governance policies, good purchasing practices and good agricultural practices.
For him, the sector should be thinking about what government and policymakers could do for farmers to get a better living condition and stop putting blame on them adding that, governments of respective countries shouldpush prices to a level that would meet the recent inflation rates.
Mr Fountain said the situation was pushing most people to sell out their lands to illegal miners for substantial amounts to be able to survive the recent global economic downturn.
Making submissions on issuesof gender biases in the sector in the 126-page report, Ms Leticia Yankey, the 2019 national best and most enterprising farmer, said despite her efforts, she is being sidelined from many things just because she is a woman, pleading that female cocoa farmers should be supported to do more.
Among several issues raised in the discussion, she opined on the fact that there could never be sustainability in the cocoa sector without the farmers being given better remuneration to encourage them.
The farmers justified their actions by saying that their children were their only means of avoiding high labour costs, which may in turn leave them with nothing to cater for their families.
The report was compiled in collaboration with 29 cocoa member organisations around the world
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY