Cocoa farmers must earn more from their toil - President Akufo-Addo

Government is committed to ensuring that Ghana’s cocoa farmers derive their fair share of the value of the global chocolate industry which over the years has been exploitative.

 

This, it says, it will vigorously pursue to increase their share of the value chain from the global chocolate industry.

 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this on Monday, when Mary Barnard, President of one of the world’s largest snacks companies, Mondelez International Inc, called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

 

Mary Barnard’s call on the President was to familiarise herself with the company’s operations in Ghana, and also to expand the company’s “Cocoa Life” project, which “works with partners to transform communities by linking improvements in productivity with progress towards development goals.”

 

The ‘Cocoa Life’ project aims to “provide knowledge and skills to improve cocoa families’ livelihoods and opportunities, inspiring a new generation of growers.”

 

President Akufo-Addo deplored the exploitation and unfairness in cocoa market that, farmers whose toil and sweat produced 60% plus of the world’s cocoa, earned 5.75% of the global value of their activity, stressing, this “cannot, and should not continue.”

 

He indicated that “time has come for us to enter into different kinds of commercial interests. We are looking to seeing more of the processing and value-enhancing aspects of the development of the cocoa industry here in Ghana. That is a major preoccupation for my government, and we are fashioning policies to this end.”

 

President Akufo-Addo said that the general posture of his government was to ensure the value-enhancing aspects of the exploitation of the country’s natural resources and move Ghana away from being a mere producer of raw materials.

 

“It served us for certain periods of our development, it cannot continue to serve us going forward into the 21st century,” he added. 

 

President Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s association with companies like Mondelēz International should make it possible for some of the company’s operations - the manufacturing of some of their chocolate brands, to be done in Ghana.

 

This, the President indicated “will be a significant step forward for us to realise greater value for our farmers.  Inasmuch as consumers are interested in knowing the sources of supply of their cocoa and be satisfied with the quality, our farmers are also very interested in the other end of the market, and interested in what can be done to increase their share of the value chain. It is a matter that is of preoccupation of our government.”

 

Mary Barnard assured President Akufo-Addo that whilst Mondelēz International does not “own all aspects of the supply chain”, the company is committed to discussing and partnering with Ghana to help “develop the incomes of farmers.”

 

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)