The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Solidaridad West Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement initiatives and offer technical support aimed at enhancing diversification, alongside cocoa intensification towards boosting the incomes of producers.
The MOU seeks to boost support for market transformation by working simultaneously with relevant stakeholders and actors within the cocoa sector, a statement issued by Cocobod and copied to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, on Tuesday stated.
Under the Agreement, COCOBOD would continue to provide technical and advisory support to the various cocoa programmes managed by Solidaridad West Africa.
These include ‘The Next Generation Cocoa Programme (MASO) funded by the MasterCard Foundation’ and the ‘Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) Phase II’ funded by the Dutch Government with support from the cocoa industry companies and other financial inclusion partners.
The MOU was signed between Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board and Mr. Isaac Gyamfi, Regional Director for Solidaridad West Africa, the statement said.
"The agreement is to enhance the relationship with Solidaridad at a time the Government of Ghana is pursuing strategic partnerships for cocoa sustainability actions in Ghana,” it said.“We are confident that under this arrangement, the cocoa sector can benefit enormously from Solidaridad’s expertise in stimulating the cocoa supply chain through innovations in good practices and sustainable landscapes management.”
Solidaridad pledged its commitment to support the continual improvement of sustainable cocoa production systems in Ghana through rehabilitation and intensification approaches that seek to reduce the current area under cultivation, the statement said.
It said Solidaridad committed to free land for other agricultural activities, while maintaining the high profitability of the cocoa industry. “We are determined to work with Cocobod to pursue conscious programming on diversification alongside cocoa intensification, as this can boost the incomes of producers and build resilience for any potential farmgate price volatility”.
Cocobod is the national body responsible for policy and regulation of production, processing and marketing of Cocoa, whereas Solidaridad is an international Civil Society Organisation with 50 years of global experience in facilitating the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable supply chains towards an inclusive economy.
The two partners will explore deeper working relationship as far as COCOBOD’s own programming is concerned. This would ensure consistency and alignment of programmes implemented by both institutions towards a vibrant and resilient cocoa economy of Ghana.