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Business News of Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Source: Class FM

Gov’t assures cocoa farmers of quality extension services

The government has assured all cocoa farmers of quality extension services as part of moves to scale up production.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, speaking at the launch of the Ghana Cocoa Board’s (COCOBOD) $600-million syndicated loan facility on 23 June 2020, said the government has rolled out a Cocoa Management System (CMS) to ensure that adequate and accurate data of cocoa farmers/farms are gathered.

“In our effort to ensure the provision of quality extension services and give farmers equal access to all our interventions, we have rolled out a Cocoa Management System (CMS), which will enable us have adequate and accurate data of our farmers/farms, Licensed-Buying Companies (LBCs), input suppliers and other players on the cocoa value chain”.

“A full implementation of the CMS will not only give farmers easy access to farm inputs but also make it easier for them to access funding from the local financial market for their operations”.

“We have also encouraged farmers to form cooperatives. Currently, more than 3,000 farmer groups across the country have registered with the Department of Cooperatives and are working closely with the CODAPEC/Hitech Unit as well as officers of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) in the districts to promote effective and quality services that will help increase productivity and sustain the cocoa industry”, he said.

“We are also highly focused on increasing domestic processing and warehousing facilities to stimulate local consumption”, the minister added.

“The price volatility of cocoa on the world market requires us to, among other interventions, increase our domestic processing and consumption. The President is keen on the consumption drive with numerous calls on all Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of consuming cocoa daily,” he said.

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