Ghana Cocoa Board positive of hitting 1m tonne target in 2020/2021 crop-year

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has said that he is optimistic they will produce one million tonnes of cocoa for the 2020/2021 cocoa crop season.

Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo

Mr Boahen Aidoo said the measure put in place which includes the introduction of the proposed Fixed Living Income Differential (LID), which has been accepted by all, will help them meet this target.

The LID ensures that a tonne of cocoa is sold at $400. This implies that Ghana will make $400 million from the sale of one million tonnes.

He told Accra-based Class FM that “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.

On the works being done, he said “We are now going to roll out mass pruning”, explaining: “Mass pruning is key to cocoa productivity.”

He revealed that “Less than 5% of cocoa farmers 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.”

He reiterated that COCOBOD is just waiting for the first rain to set in so it can start the mass pruning across the country.

He said “Every farm is going to be pruned. Once you prune the cocoa trees, you are sure of improved yield.”

In July 2019, Ghana and Ivory Coast introduced the LID on all cocoa sales for the 2020/2021 season. This is to reduce poverty among farmers in their country.

The two West African countries produce about 70% of the global production of cocoa.

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

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