|Right Incentives For Cocoa Farmers Advocated|
|Thursday, 08 November 2012 13:54|
The Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, has called for the right incentives to be given to cocoa farmers for the needed increase in production to be achieved.He said in the quest to increase production, Ghana should not sight of the high quality of its cocoa that attracted premium price on the world market. Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the second national cocoa stakeholders’ conference in Accra last Tuesday, Prof. Asenso-Okyere underscored the need for attention to be paid to the emerging niche markets based on organic production and traceability of the product.
“It will be a pity if the discovery of crude oil results in the neglect of the cocoa sector which has in the past provided a large share of the needed investments for Ghana’s development,” he said at the two-day conference which is on the theme: “Repositioning Ghana in the Global Sustainable Cocoa Economy.”
He was upbeat about the global cocoa sector in view of the increasing demand and asked producers to respond to the supply gap, noting that “Ghana should take steps so that it is not left behind.”
On the global cocoa value chain, Prof. Asenso-Okyere, who was a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said the chain had undergone a rapid process of decentralization and integration over the last two decades.
According to him, concentration was occurring at the manufacturing side of the value chain and that in 2005 the top 10 manufactures accounted for 43 per cent of the world sales.
Touching on cocoa production, the IFPRI director indicated that long-term cocoa production strategies for sustainable cocoa economy ought to be developed in Ghana in order to benefit from the global supply deficit.
He advocated the promotion of the overall economic development as well as improving the socio-economic conditions of the resource poor and the disadvantaged sections of farmers.
Apart from the government, he said, organizations that were involved in the marketing, processing and the manufacturing of cocoa and cocoa products should be encouraged to invest in social amenities and activities that would improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers and their families.
The Regional Manager of Solidaridad West Africa (organizers of the conference), Mr. Isaac Gyamfi, observed that the cocoa sector in the country faced serious challenges that required a concerted effort by all stakeholders to help address.
He stated the fact that cocoa production was on a global decline while demand increased for which reason he called for an immediate action to keep the global sustainability of the commodity to avoid a deficit.
He said the theme was selected on the fact that Ghana, as a coca leader, could develop appropriate solutions to mitigate the challenges facing the cocoa sector.
The Country Manager (Cocoa) of Solidaridad West Africa, Mr. Vincent Frimpong Manu, gave a presentation of a recap of the 2011 cocoa conference. The objectives included the establishment of a common platform for players in the sector to seek lasting solutions to the teething problems.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr. Tony Fofie, was represented by Very Rev. Kweku Abakah Ewusi of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit of COCOBOD.
Source: Daily Graphic