New technology boosts cocoa production in Ghana – top official


Ghana expects to hit the one million metric ton mark in cocoa production due to the success of new technologies being introduced into production a senior official stated here on Wednesday.

According to Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Nana Oduro Owusu the hand-pollination method and fertilizer application were beginning to see resounding success in boosting production.

Addressing the maiden international freight negotiation conference hosted by Ghana for freight operators who ship Ghana’s cocoa to the world market Owusu was positive that this expanded growth would create more jobs for the freight operators, which he expected could drive down freight costs.

Ghana introduced the hand-pollination method last year lelading to an increased production to above 900,000 metric tons according to the regulator. For the incoming season Ghana is expected to produce well above the same mark again.

In addition to rehabilitating infested farms COCOBOD also seeks to introduce irrigation and expansion of warehousing to enable Ghana meet the one million mark as it achieved in 2011.

The deputy CEO said COCOBOD was also undertaking an aggressive local consumption campaign aimed at getting Ghanaians to consume a significant portion of what is produced.

This, he expected could create the right conditions for better pricing for the commodity.

“There is good business ahead for all of us once the volumes increase. This will give freight operators full time businesses and give all of them enough to transport, and we expect this also to drive down freight cost,” Owusu added.

Matthew Stolz member of the governing council of the Federation of Cocoa Commerce later told Xinhua that one of the challenges the conference would seek to address was the issue of the presence of undesired chemical elements and contamination in cocoa beans.

These he said came along the supply chain including from jute bags, shipping containers among others.

“We are trying to push a lot to control that aspect in the supply chain, because it affects the quality and ultimately what the end user is going to accept so of course it affects the price,” he added.

The one day conference which hosted both international and local freight operators as well as logistic companies was organized by the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) which is the commercial subsidiary of the COCOBOD; and is aimed at reviewing the 2017/18 crop season and build on the strengths to achieve better results in the coming years.

“We observed an increase in the rejection of containers provided by various shipping lines during the period under review. We want to reiterate that we require only “food grade” containers for stuffing of cocoa,” Joe Forson, Managing Director of CMC told the freight operators.

Forson said the start of direct shipment from inland with a total of 61,000 metric tons shipped out of Kumasi Ghana’s second city directly into the eastern port of Tema was very cost effective since it enabled the avoidance of double handling. Enditem

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