Patrick Obeng, GNA
Accra, Dec. 5, GNA - Dr Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, Deputy Chief Executive in-charge of Agronomy and Quality Control of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has commended Mondelez International for its effort at increasing cocoa production from 350,000 to 900,000 metric tonnes over the past decade
Mondelez is a multinational confectionary, food and beverages company with Cadbury as its largest brand, and over the period, it rolled out the Cocoa Life programme as a cocoa-farmer and cocoa-community empowerment initiative.
Dr Dwomoh gave the commendation at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Cocoa Life Programme in Accra.
The Cocoa Life initiative, aimed at complementing the government’s efforts at transforming the cocoa sector, currently supports more than 37,000 farmers across 447 communities.
The programme helps the farmers with capacity building into best and sustainable farming practices, inputs, funding, knowledge and skills to improve their livelihoods and strengthen their communities and alternative livelihood opportunities.
Dr Dwomoh said not only has the Cocoa Life programme helped increase quantity, but it had also helped to maintain the quality of cocoa beans which is being seen as the best on the international market.
‘I want to emphasise that one of the major pillars of the Ghana cocoa is the quality of the beans, but the use of unapproved chemicals and the inappropriate use of approved chemicals resulting in chemical residue in the beans are threatening Ghana’s performance on the international market’, he said.
Dr Dwomoh appealed to farmers to take extension services made available to them more seriously to ensure a sustainable cocoa sector.
Miss Cathy Pietars, Global Director of Cocoa Life Programme, said the programme sought to ensure gender equity in the cocoa production value chain.
Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Cocoa Life Country Lead, said the programme which continues to give hope to cocoa farmers is a vibrant intervention that is responding to the actual needs of community partners, as well as the interest of the government.
The Country Office took advantage to launch a guideline document to help farmers with best practices for sustainable cocoa production.
It is expected to be a manual for its extension officers to boost their operations.