Ghana, others to benefit from $14m World Cocoa Foundation initiative
More than 100,000 cocoa farmers are expected to benefit from a 14-million dollar project estimated to increase productivity, raise incomes and advance food security in four West and Central African countries including Ghana.
The five-year World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) African Cocoa Initiative (ACI) project, which is complementary to existing programmes run by governments of beneficiary countries, would develop the cocoa sector in four critical areas.
Speaking to journalists at a pre-project launch conference jointly in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Bill Guyton, President of the WCF, said the components included fostering public-private cooperative investments in cocoa and agriculture through policy and governance, improving the genetic quality and productivity of cocoa varieties under cultivation, expanding farmer education and training programmes and improving the agriculture input supply chains that served cocoa farmers.
The WCF/ACI project, which aims at institutionalizing effective public and private sector models to support sustainable productivity growth and improved food security on diversified cocoa farms in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, is funded by US Agency for International Development through its Global Development Alliance, the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative and other stakeholders.
The project aims at doubling cocoa productivity for beneficiary farmers and to raise their per capita income between 150-200 per cent.
Mr Noah Amenyah, Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD expressed optimism the project would improve productivity and sustainability of the cocoa sector in Ghana as well as attract, engage and sustain more youth in the sector.
He said he was hopeful the issue of access and application of fertilizer for increased yield would be addressed.
The WCF is an international membership foundation that promotes sustainable cocoa economy by providing farmers with the tools they need to grow more and improved cocoa as well as to give available access to markets.
The foundations’ membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers and other partner companies.