The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, says he is optimistic the country will produce more than one million metric tonnes of cocoa for the 2020/2021 crop season.
As of August 19, 2021, COCOBOD, has already exceeded the years’ target of 900,000 metric tonnes.
With about five more weeks for the 2020/2021 cocoa crop season to end on September 31st, COCOBOD says the country has harvested 1,033,122.19 metric tons of cocoa.
The CEO of COCOBOD, Mr. Boahen Aidoo attributed the successful harvest to measures put in place by COCOBOD, such as the deployment of extension officers to various cocoa farms as well as the hard work of the farmers.
The last time Ghana crossed the one million metric tonnes mark was during the 2010/2011 crop season.
“The season will end on 30th September, so we still have about six weeks or so to go, which means that Ghana will be heading close to one million and sixty thousand tonnes. And this has never happened in the history of our cocoa industry. It’s a wonderful achievement, and we have to say “ayeeko” to our farmers and to all stakeholders in the industry.”
“We have been able to achieve this not just because the farmers worked hard but because monitoring by extension officers has also been intensified. Now we have extension officers all over the country”.
Meanwhile, Ghana will, from the 1st of October this year, begin using specialized electronic weighing scales that will be used by Licensed buying companies to address the issue of cocoa farmers being cheated at weighing points.
Although the industry regulator, Ghana Cocoa Board’s official weight for a bag of cocoa is 64kg, the cocoa buyers blatantly disregard it and operate by their own rules by adjusting their scales to the detriment of farmers.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo said his outfit in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority had secured scales with a weighing capacity of 150 kilograms for the cocoa industry.
“We have worked on this together with the LBCs in total agreement to change the weighing scales from the manual to the electronic system. We wanted the kind that can be used everywhere in the country. So we have procured both electronic and solar scales. This will end the days when our cocoa farmers felt cheated by LBCs who they claimed adjusted their weighing scales,” he stated.
“Therefore effective 1st October 2021, which marks the beginning of the new crop season 2021/2022 Ghana is going to use the electronic weighing scale. That is what is going to be used throughout the country and as a regulator we want to announce for all our partners and stakeholders to know. So if you go to weigh your cocoa, and it’s not COCOBODs electronic scale, it means that scale is unauthorized”.
The new electronic scales were recommended by the Ghana Standards Authority, following an inspection of the mechanical scales presently used across the country.