Ghana Cocoa Board
Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, it provides one-fifth of the worlds beans. Last season, there was a surprise drop in cocoa production. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, The Ghana Cocoa Board public affairs manager, Noah Amenya said that the board is confident Ghana can produce 850,000 metric tons of cocoa for the 2015/2016 season.
The Ghana Cocoa Board also known as the COCOBOD was established in 1947. In 1957, the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah laid the foundation stone to mark the construction of Cocoa House. The building was meant to represent the Board’s faith in the future of the cocoa industry and a living monument to the hard work of the Ghanaian farmer. The mission of the Board is to encourage and facilitate the production, processing and marketing of good quality cocoa, coffee and sheanut in all forms in the most efficient and cost effective manner, and maintain the best mutual industrial relation with its objectives.
The organisation is involved in the following operations:
- Marketing of cocoa beans and cocoa products
- Cocoa Quality Assurance
- Research and training
- Crop diseases & pests control
- Crop rehabilitation projects
- Farmer Extension Services
The COCOBOD has several subsidiaries, one of them is the Bunso Cocoa College which was originally established to organise training program for its technical and field staff. The college has since widened its scope to host and organise courses and workshops for non- staff and other local and international bodies. Over the years, the college has trained thousands of field staff and other agricultural based organisations as well as hosted a number of government organisations including: WORLD Vision International, ARDA, USAID, PEACE CORPS, MOFA etc.
Another COCOBOD subsidiary is the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), the world’s largest single Seller and Exporter of premium cocoa from origin. The CMC was established to perform the following functions:
- To Promote, Sell and Deliver Ghana’s Cocoa to both local cocoa processors and the international traders and processors.
- To take delivery of and to store Ghana’s cocoa at its designated warehouses in Tema, Takoradi and Kumasi take-over centres.
- To support the financing of Ghana’s cocoa sector by facilitating the annual syndicated loan arrangements and to ensure that sale proceeds are collected towards the repayment of the loan.
The COCOBOD is an active part of society and works hard to maintain premium quality cocoa in Ghana. They have recently put together A ten-member Cocoa Disease and Pest Control (CODAPECH – HI-TECH) task force for the Dormaa Cocoa District. The task force has been assigned to oversee the supply and distribution of cocoa fertilisers and other chemicals to cocoa farmers and to ensure that the fertilisers are not smuggled out of the area. The COCOBOD decided to provide the fertilisers and other chemicals free of charge following complaints received from farmers about the high costs and scarcity of those items in the market stores.
Recently, the COCOBOD obtained fungicides that will be used in spraying black pod infested cocoa trees throughout the country. Black pod is a disease that has been a major headache for cocoa farmers that can result in over 70 percent pod loss. The fungicide will be sprayed three times within the year 2016. The spraying will begin in May, through December 2016.
The COCOBOD has a positive outlook for this season. The decline that was experienced last season was largely attributed to the falling productivity of old and diseased trees. The board estimates that 40% of the country’s trees are now unproductive, due to either age or disease. To overcome this, the COCOBOD will provide 60 million new tree seedlings as replacements.