The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, has inaugurated an 11-member Board for the Ghana Cocoa Board with a charge to members to address challenges of timely payment of cocoa farmers and the marketing of the commodity.
He tasked the new Board to continue to build on the successes attained by the previous board of directors.
He said the record cocoa production in the 2020/21 season, mainly through extensive agronomic practices and initiatives such as hand pollination and rehabilitation of diseased cocoa trees, had brought hopes to farmers.
Dr Akoto encouraged the new Board to work closely with the Secretariat of the Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative to advance policies to improve on the incomes of cocoa farmers through the implementation of the Living Income Differential.
Speaking at the inauguration, the board chairman Peter Mac Manu pledged to build on measures put in place by the previous board, which had significantly contributed to the record production in the current season.
“We will work to consolidate the gains made, strengthen and accelerate the implementation of ongoing policies, projects, programmes, and initiatives to achieve sustained improvement in yield to ensure sustainable incomes for our illustrious cocoa farmers,” he stated.
He said while the cocoa farmers are happier today because of improved incomes, there was much more needed to be done to bring farmer incomes to a level to encourage the youth to find cocoa farming attractive.
“Our duty as a board is 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,” Mr Manu added.