The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has charged the newly inaugurated eleven-member board of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to address the issue of delayed payments to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs).
For months now, the cocoa sector has been faced with the problem of Licensed Buying Companies carting cocoa from farmers without paying, creating anxiety in the cocoa industry.
Inaugurating the Board of Directors of COCOBOD in Accra on Wednesday, Dr. Afriyie Akoto tasked the Board to ensure efficient financing of cocoa production to avoid saddling farmers with debts.
“We know the problems facing the marketing of cocoa in this country; the role of foreign buyers and the very weak position of local LBCs in the purchase of cocoa. We need to look at how we’re going to make sure that the financing of the bigger crop is done without impeding on the finances of the farmers. We’ve had quite a lot of complaints from farmers about delayed payments due to the COVID-19 which caused a reduction in world demand for cocoa beans which meant that we couldn’t sell all the crops by the end of 2020,” he stated.
The new chairman of the Board, Peter Mac Manu, pledged his commitment to ensuring the smooth running of the sector to bring value to all actors in the industry.
He promised, “There is more work to be done to bring farmer incomes to a level where the youth of our country will find cocoa farming attractive. It is our duty as a Board to provide policy direction that will lead to the attainment of this objective, and this duty we will discharge to the best of our abilities. We will work hand in hand with management, staff, Licensed Buyers and all stakeholders to bring value to all actors within the cocoa value chain.”
The new Board of COCOBOD consists of these members:
1. Peter Mac Manu – Chairman, COCOBOD Board
2. Joseph Boahen Aidoo – CEO, COCOBOD
3. Dr. Yaw Frimpong Addo – Deputy Minister, Food and Agriculture
4. Charles Adu Boahen – Minister of State at the Finance Ministry
5. Ernest Addison – Governor, Bank of Ghana
6. Herbert Krapah – Deputy Minster, Trade and Industry
7. Nana Obeng Akrofi – Farmer
8. Nana Johnson Mensah – Farmer
9. Nana Adwoa Dokua – Business woman
10. Edward Oko Ampofo – COCOBOD rep
11. Kwadwo Asante- MP, Suhum (President’s nominee)
Ghana Cocoa Board
Since the 1870s, cocoa has played a critical role in Ghana’s economy. It has dominated the agricultural sector for decades and has sustained the lives of millions of Ghanaians, either directly or indirectly.
Because of its economic importance and export revenue generator, the government of Ghana has taken all measures to regulate the industry, prominently through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
For many years now, the Board has fulfilled its mission of encouraging and facilitating the production, processing and marketing of good quality cocoa, coffee and sheanut in all forms in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Over the years, several Boards of Directors, appointed by Government, governs the Board. They are usually composed of Government nominees from various professions, a representative of the workers of COCOBOD and two representatives of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers’ Association.
As part of efforts to enable the Board to achieve its objective of improving the country’s standing in the cocoa value chain, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, swore in an eleven-member board to oversee activities in the sector.