Ghana, others will not bow to saboteurs of living income for cocoa farmers – CEO

Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Execu­tive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, says the industry will not bow to incessant pressure from saboteurs of efforts to provide cocoa farmers decent income.

He said the Living Income Differential (LID) pricing mechanism which Ivory Coast and lately, Nigeria had agreed to adopt in selling cocoa beans was a priority of the cocoa sector.

“We have used several platforms to make a case for this new pricing mechanism since 2018 when the idea of improving upon the impoverished condition of cocoa farmers began. However, it appears many of the trade houses and other agencies are thwart­ing our efforts at achieving the full realisa­tion of the LID,” he said.

“The cocoa sector is not pleased with how trade partners have short-changed cocoa business, with respect to payment of the ori­gin or country differential, which is a distinct premium that exporters pay for the quality of cocoa beans,” he added.

Mr Aidoo, who was speaking at the fourth edition of the Ghana cocoa awards in Accra to recognise the contributions of various players within Ghana’s cocoa value chain, said the situation was crippling the cocoa economies of respective countries, with a propensity of impoverishing our farmers.

He said decent income for the cocoa farmer meant a lot as it would help address the bottlenecks to their progress.

“The farmer is able to provide good meals for their children, good education, and easy access to labour, inputs, among other param­eters critical to improving their standard of living,” he said.

“Indeed, when our farmers get remuner­ative cocoa prices, they become more eco­nomically independent, socially responsible and environmentally conscious and approach their cocoa farming activities sustainably.”

He said the survival of Ghana’s cocoa sec­tor is tied to how much value is attached to cocoa beans locally to boost consumption.

He urged hotels, hospitals, tourism sector, banks, agencies and ministries, caterers and chefs to build synergies and network to stim­ulate cocoa consumption drive.

“Cocoa continues to be our national pride and we must deliberately protect it. It has a great measure of nutritional and health benefits, and must be made part of all daily meals. Let us take advantage of this niche crop and protect it for posterity,” he advised.

Niche Cocoa Industry Limited, an inde­pendent cocoa processing industry in Ghana, was crowned the best processing company of the year.

The processing company was also induct­ed into the Hall of Fame Award for winning three consecutive awards.

The award was received by Mr Edmund Poku, the founder of Niche Cocoa Process­ing Company.

Niche Cocoa industry as part of its good works has established a subsidiary cocoa processing company in the United States of America. – GNA

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