Ghana launches $1.2m cocoa platform

cocoaCocobod has launched the Ghana Cocoa Platform (GCP) to serve as a mechanism for multi-stakeholders dialogue to effectively address key issues pertaining to cocoa production.

The three-year GCP, would be funded by donor agencies and Cocobod at a cost of $1.2 million, to look into the priority areas of cocoa production and management of quality, Mrs Rita Owusu-Amankwah, GCP National Coordinator, has said

She said the GCP, which would be chaired and hosted by Cocobod, would include strong participation from farmer groups, public and private sector institutions and actors.

She said the GCP is a good opportunity to enhance focused dialogue, increased stakeholders participation, and coordinated action across the sectors.

Mrs Owusu-Amankwah who introduced a 10-member Steering Committee of the platform in Accra on Tuesday, said members would organise series of plenary meetings for stakeholders on regular basis, to be supported by a combination of technical papers and technical committees build around specific areas for interventions.

She said discussions at the platform level would lead to a joint documented consensus over the major positive and negative impacts of cocoa production.

It would review the best practices to improve environmental and social performance that are better adapted to the reality of Ghana and make a set of recommendations for policy reforms and joint planning by stakeholders.

The GCP National Coordinator said the platform would ensure that enhanced performance of the commodity value chain is achieved while lessons are incorporated into guide future interventions.

Mrs Owusu-Amankwah said a global knowledge and coordination function would also be implemented, in order to enable the transfer of effective approaches and lessons learned across countries.

She said at the policy level there has been insufficient integration of all policies and instruments impacting on the cocoa sector while limited policies and incentives to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices are inadequate.

Mrs. Owusu-Amankwah said insufficient sustained dialogue among stakeholders, lack of an agreed common vision among them for the development of the sector, and absence of an inclusive, multi-stakeholders forum to bridge information gaps in the cocoa sector are undermining productivity.

Overcoming these complex barriers, Mrs Owusu-Amankwah said, requires a holistic approach by key players to enhance institutional and stakeholders coordination and focused dialogue.

This, she said, would help identify major sustainability issues and agree on a common strategy to tackle challenging issues, implement action to achieve common goals, as well as adopting effective monitoring processes of progress to help sustain cocoa production.

Source: GNA

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