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Calls for Resignation of COCOBOD Head Amid Demands for Increased Support to Cocoa Farmers by Civil Society Organizations in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana

Calls for Resignation of COCOBOD Head Amid Demands for Increased Support to Cocoa Farmers by Civil Society Organizations in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana cocoa, Cocoa & Sugar, Côte d'ivoire, Ghana, Regulation & Safety, Sustainability, sustainable sourcing Food and Beverage Business

In the food and beverage industry, civil society organizations in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are demanding better support for cocoa farmers amidst calls for the resignation of the head of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo. Recent communication from the PCID highlights the hope of cocoa farmers for an increase in the field-gate price of cocoa to reflect the rise in the international market. Meanwhile, Ghana’s Minority Party has accused Aidoo of mismanagement and a decline in the conditions of cocoa farmers, citing a meager increase in the price of a bag of cocoa. These allegations of incompetence and corruption have led to calls for Aidoo’s removal.

Concerns about the state of Ghana’s cocoa sector have been raised by Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson. The production of cocoa has seen a significant decrease, and massive losses have been recorded by COCOBOD in recent years. Despite an announced 68% increase in the producer price, the sustainability of the cocoa sector is being jeopardized. It is crucial for the government to implement necessary reforms and support cocoa farmers adequately.

The situation is not much different in Cote d’Ivoire, the largest cocoa producer globally. Although the on-board price of cocoa for the 2022-2023 season has increased, it is still insufficient to improve the situation of cocoa producers significantly. Studies show that cocoa’s production cost is high, and farmers’ real income remains meager. This jeopardizes the sustainability of the cocoa sector as farmers struggle to make a living and invest in sustainable cocoa production.

To address these issues, the Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa and the Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform both call for higher farmgate prices that reflect the efforts and work of cocoa farmers. The weak cedi in Ghana and the threat of illegal gold mining further exacerbate the challenges faced by cocoa farmers.

Looking ahead, the PCID recommends opening discussions for a field price that is set at 60% of the international market price. This would move cocoa producers from a state of survival to a dignified standard of living. The PCID supports the boycott of the World Cocoa Foundation meeting and urges Ivorian and Ghanaian authorities to collaborate in supporting the well-being of producers.

As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to address the issues faced by cocoa farmers and ensure their sustainability. By taking action and providing adequate support, governments can contribute to a thriving cocoa sector that benefits both producers and consumers.

Please note that both COCOBOD and Conseil du Café-Cacao have declined to comment on the issues raised in this article.

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