The Cocoa Management System being undertaken by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to ensure focused service delivery in the cocoa sector has reached an advanced stage and will soon be completed, reports indicate.
Its implementation – expected to begin in October this year – has become increasingly necessary following series of theft cases of cocoa beans at the farms or homes of cocoa farmers where the beans are being dried.
Aside this, recent reports of armed robbery cases where some Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) were attacked and the cocoa beans and their cash, taken from them has also been a major reason for the implementation of the Cocoa Management System.
According to COCOBOD, the System, when ready, would improve the overall monitoring of the supply chain including purchasing, weighing, and grading of cocoa, also expected to enhance records keeping, allow the early detection and flagging of inconsistencies and anomalies in records, and ease traceability.
Before implementation commences, all cocoa farmers across the country will be registered into a single database, and issued with electronic accounts into which all sales proceeds of their cocoa beans will be recorded and deposited with payments made electronically.
In effect, this innovation will ensure that only registered and certified cocoa farmers can sell cocoa beans to LBCs. Besides, since payment will be done electronically, LBCs will no longer need to carry cash around for any transaction.
Already, COCOBOD has maintained a farmer-focused approach in regulating the country’s cocoa sector through the intensification of Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) which consists of subsidised fertilizer distribution to cocoa farmers, mass pruning of cocoa farms and hand pollination exercise.
Its objective is aimed at increasing production of cocoa which will also result in improvement on their earnings and in fact, safeguarding the welfare of cocoa farmers and enhanced their living standards.