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August 09, 2015

Challenges facing Ghana's cocoa sector

An analyst has called for the firing of the chief executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on the grounds that the important sector's fortunes have been declining under his watch.


“Consistently, cocoa has been under-performing and there is no reason why we should keep him there,” said
Sydney Casely-Hayford about Stephen Kwabena Opuni.

'Under his leadership, the cocoa sector which is the leading foreign exchange earner for the country has suffered major setbacks,' says a media report.

Amongst the sector's many challenges: Inadequate rainfall, lack of pesticides and fertilizers for farmers, the depreciation of the cedi (1 U.S. $ = 3.75 Ghana Cedi, 09 August 2015 rate) increased smuggling of cocoa beans, delayed resource allocation, the reduction of government spraying programme, among others have adversely affected the sector.

At the beginning of the 2014/2015 cocoa season, COCOBOD projected a target yield of 1 million tonnes; a projection many industry players described as over ambitious. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) subsequently dropped Ghana’s yield for the 2014/2015 crop season by about 20% from some 900,000 tonnes to about 700,000 tonnes.

African Agriculture

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