The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has expressed its commitment to enhancing the livelihoods of cocoa producers by ensuring an improvement in the producer price.
This statement was made by the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Aidoo, during a stakeholder workshop focused on the feasibility study of an African Cocoa Exchange.
COCOBOD has identified the lack of price determination in cocoa production as the root cause of low price adjustments in the sector.
According to him, the establishment of an international cocoa market in Africa through the African Cocoa Exchange will help give producing countries the leverage to determine the prices of cocoa and improve various value chains in the cocoa sector.
He added that it will give African countries confidence in international markets.
“Even though Africa produces around 75% of global cocoa crops, we do not have a say when it comes to price determinations. Rather, the consumers or the importers are the ones who decide what price to give. This is because the market is not here in the producing environment, but rather in the consuming environment. So we brought this to the attention of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO).
“We started together and indicated that the narrative had to change to ensure that we had an international market based in Africa. They bought into this idea, which led to the commissioning of a study into it. So we are here today and tomorrow to interrogate the findings to see the feasibility of establishing an African Cocoa Exchange based in Africa. This will help boost confidence in the international markets and can also improve the cocoa price regime and improve the cocoa value chain.” Mr. Aidoo said.
The establishment of the African Cocoa Exchange will be hosted by Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, or Cameroon.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, has pledged the government’s unwavering support to ensure the success of the establishment of the African Cocoa Exchange.
“We are on a trajectory of a modern, prosperous, and private sector-driven economy. We believe that poor farmers cannot continue to feed the rich, and therefore we have to change the trajectory of agriculture. We want to build a cocoa industry and a productive cocoa value chain that would deliver prosperity to producers, communities, aggregators, processors, and all in the value chain.
“On behalf of the Government of Ghana, I wish to pledge the full support of Ghana to this process. I can assure all stakeholders of the Government’s readiness to commit the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ghana Commodity Exchange to this process, and we will continue to support the ICCO on all matters of mutual interest.”