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Business News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Source: Class FM

COCOBOD optimistic of hitting 1 million tonnes target


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The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is optimistic of producing one million tonnes of cocoa for the 2020/2021 cocoa crop season.

According to its Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the introduction of the proposed Fixed Living Income Differential (LID), which has been accepted by all, coupled with some drastic measures, will enable his outfit achieve that feat.

Per the LID, a tonne of cocoa will be sold at US$400, thus, the nation can accrue US$400 million from the sale of one million tonnes.

Speaking to Benjamin Akapko on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show, Mr Aidoo said: “Certainly, we can achieve the US$400 million. The season starts in October and already we are bagging in; the buyers, the brands, all of them are paying US$400. Barry Callebaut, Cargill, you can recall, are buying in.”

“Olam, others, they’ve all gone public on the international world market supporting the LID. The World Cocoa Foundation has accepted the LID. EU made a categorical statement in Berlin that it supports the LID. This is the greatest thing to ever happen to this country”, he added.

Throwing light on some of the work being done, he said: “We are now going to roll out mass pruning”, explaining: “Mass pruning is key to cocoa productivity.”

“Less than 5% of cocoa farmers”, he revealed, “were doing mass pruning” but “without pruning, you cannot have your yield.”

Continuing, Mr Boahen Aidoo said: “We’ve brought in 100,000 motorised slasher pruners that the farmers are going to use. This means that the farmers are going to move from the traditional method of doing farming to modern…they are moving from the use of machetes to doing technical farming.”

The CEO emphasised that COCOBOD is only waiting for the first rain to set in before embarking on the mass pruning exercise across the country, adding: “Every farm is going to be pruned. Once you prune the cocoa trees, you are sure of improved yield.”

Ghana and Ivory Coast introduced the LID in July 2019 on all cocoa sales for the 2020/2021 season, to ease pervasive farmer poverty in their various countries.

Ghana and Ivory Coast, together, control 70% of the global production of cocoa, and put a $400 premium on each metric tonne of the commodity purchased.

Ghana produced an unprecedented one million tonnes of cocoa during the 2010/2011 crop-year, but has since failed to match that achievement.

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