The government is to inject a $600 million stimulus package into the cocoa sector through a Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Program.
Announcing this on Sunday at a briefing in Peduase, Eastern Region, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said: “The stimulus will target rehabilitation of plantations, improvement in storage and domestic processing, stimulation of local consumption as well as efforts to increase output on farms among others and spans a 7-year period.”
“The Administration believes that Cocoa, being a major pillar of our economy cannot be allowed to survive at its own pace. Cocoa farmers who have been the backbone of the Ghanaian economy already have good news for 2020 in cocoa price structure but now get an additional dose through this stimulus package,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah indicated.
He said the huge investment is to step up Ghana’s production to 1.5m metric tonnes by 2027.
Major Purpose of Borrowing
Explaining further, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said the Board intends to raise the long-term facility being sourced from the African Development Bank (AfDB), to finance intervention programmes and other relevant issues relating to Ghana’s cocoa industry.
The facility is to help the COCOBOD to undertake productivity enhancement programmes such as hand pollination of cocoa farms, irrigation of cocoa farms, rehabilitation of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) infested farms, rehabilitation of moribund cocoa farms and increasing and improving warehousing capacity.
It will also fund the creation of an integrated farmer database, promote domestic processing as well as promote local consumption, Boahen Aidoo added.
In addition to the interventions earmarked for funding with the loan proceeds, the COCOBOD CEO said other initiatives which have contributed to sustaining cocoa production over the years will be continued.
These are payment of remunerative producer prices to farmers, fffective cocoa disease and pests control programme, cost effective fertilizer application, good agronomic practices employed by farmers and the distribution of hybrid cocoa seedlings to farmers.
Below is the forecast production during the implementation of the PEPs.