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.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo
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.