The Board Chairman of the COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyeman says the government is planning to process 50 per cent of the cocoa that is produced in the country.
He also said government was playing its part to achieve the set target of one million-tonne cocoa production for the 2018/2019 crop season.
Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world after Ivory Coast.
He said these when Mr. Harold Poelma, the President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate led a delegation to pay courtesy calls on the Chairman of COCOBOD and the Minister of Food and Agriculture as part of activities marking ten years of Cargill in Ghana.
A statement issued by Cargill and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, congratulated Cargill on its anniversary and the immense job it has been doing to improve the sector with global best practices.
He said government was fully committed to alleviating socio-economic challenges in the cocoa sector and pledged his Ministry’s unflinching support for Cargill.
Mr. Poelma thanked the Minister for his drive and vision towards a sustainable cocoa sector and Cargill’s contribution in that regard.
He said Cargill was committed to continue investments in the sector, and that, Cargill is open to dialogue with the government to improve the cocoa sector.
The Cargill delegation also visited the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and was welcomed by Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the Chairman of COCOBOD, who was full of praise for Cargill’s business model acknowledged Cargill’s contributions and positive impacts on the cocoa sector over the last ten years.
Mr Owusu-Agyemang congratulated Cargill on a decade of innovation; touching on the installation of the fully-automated digital solar system at the Tema plant and called for cooperation towards a sustainable environment.
He said government was playing its part to achieve the set target of one million-tonne cocoa production for the 2018/2019 crop season and 50 per cent of cocoa to be processed in Ghana.
In response, Mr. Pieter Reichert, the Managing Director for Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana, expressed Cargill’s readiness for further collaborations and Cargill’s role in ensuring environmental sustainability.
He also outlined the outcome of Cargill’s traceability-focused fully e-money enabled Licensed Buying Company; Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Company Limited.
“Since its establishment, 13,000 cocoa farmers have benefitted from a total of GH¢6 million in premium payments and currently covers 11 districts,’’ he said.
He also drew the Chairman’s attention to the unfairness in the light crop industry and encouraged the COCOBOD to take steps in addressing it.
A tenth-anniversary commemorative dinner was also held; where the executives of Cargill engaged with sector stakeholders on ways to reinvigorate Ghana’s cocoa sector.
It is expected that these engagements will help Cargill continue to bolster farmer confidence in the cocoa sector.
Cargill was actively working with farmers to change and improve practices to curb deforestation and also support activities to promote sustainable farming practices and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.
The statement said the delegation also toured some communities where the Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Company Limited operates, including the Baniekrom Buying Plant, Akrobokrom and Nyinahin communities in the Ashanti Region on.
“For the farmers, the visit signified Cargill’s commitment to keeping the farmer at the heart of its business.
They were also grateful for the visit and expressed their satisfaction with Cargill’s innovative payment system, weighing system and savings scheme”
It said Cargill had been buying cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years and in 2008 opened its state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema.
Today the company has over 600 permanent and contracted employees processing cocoa products to serve food and confectionary customers locally and around the world.