Nigeria and Cameroon have expressed interest in joining the alliance for economic relations on cocoa between Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the two-leading cocoa-producing countries in the world.
This was expressed by the respective representatives of Nigeria and Cameroon, who addressed the Steering Committee of the Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) at a meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire chaired by Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a report issued by the office of the minister copied the Ghanaian Times said.
Dr Akoto, the first elected Chairman of the Steering Committee of CIGCI handed over the baton to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cote d’Iviore, Kobena Kouassi Adjoumani and said CIGCI would take the prospective members through the processes laid down to admit new members.
The steering committee serves as an advisory body made up of top-level stakeholders that provide guidance on critical issues to the executive body.
Dr Akoto played a pivotal role in getting the two countries join the initiative, and also helped to lay down the foundation for the initiative to be attractive to more cocoa growing countries.
Nigeria and Cameroon believe joining the initiative will enhance the effort of the alliance in delivering a better price and remuneration for cocoa farmers.
The CIGCI was set up following a declaration by the Presidents of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to harmonise the cocoa trading strategies of the two countries to improve the incomes of cocoa farmers in the two countries in the wake of persistently low cocoa prices on the world market.
The initiative has so far instituted the Living Income Differential (LID), the component of the cocoa trading mechanism operated by the two producer countries, which ensures that every tonne of cocoa beans sold attracts an extra $400.00 which is paid to farmers.
Dr Afriyie Akoto indicated that the need for a better price for cocoa farmers cannot be over-emphasised. Hence, any attempt to grow the alliance and strengthen its drive to improve farmer income is welcome.
The two countries joining Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire will create an alliance of countries, whose total cocoa production constitutes 75 per cent of the world’s supply.
The Nigerian delegation was led by Abdullahi H. Abubakar, the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture and Chairman of Nigeria’s Cocoa Management Committee.
Mr Michael Ndoping, the Chief Executive Officer of Cameroon’s National Office of Cocoa and Coffee led the Cameroonian delegation.
By Times Reporter