GHANA – Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has been directed by the Government to purchase all fertilisers necessary for the growing of cocoa and other crops from local sources, beginning next year.

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who gave the directive, said the government’s industrialisation of ‘one district one factory’ initiative, had built up the necessary local capacity to meet and exceed Ghana’s fertiliser demand, which stands at about 600,000 metric tonnes per annum.

He said Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had agreed to have a stake in determining the floor price of cocoa on the world market and pay income differential to cocoa farmers, starting October in 2020/2021 cocoa season.

This, he said, would ensure a living wage for cocoa farmers and improve their sources of livelihoods. Dr Bawumia reiterated government’s commitment to establish a pension scheme for cocoa farmers to guarantee a regular source of income after retirement.

The directive for the local purchase of fertiliser comes after recent major strides in the production of blended fertiliser in the country, with just one company, Glofert Fertiliser Limited, having the capacity to produce about 800,000 metric tonnes per annum. Four other local companies have also ramped up production, with other facilities under construction across the country.

Vice President Bawumia commended the management of Olam Ghana for their contribution to national development over the years, especially in the area of job creation and the development of the cocoa industry.

“Government is aware of the many achievements of Olam Ghana, the parent company of Olam Cocoa, in the agro-commodity sector of the economy. The company has gradually become one of the leading agro-commodity companies in the country. Your involvement in the export of cashew, and your tomato paste processing and canning has not escaped the eye of Government.

The government, Vice President Bawumia assured, would continue to support and celebrate the private sector by implementing policies and programmes designed to remove obstacles to their activities.

“We have made it a policy not to engage in activities that will put impediments or bottlenecks in the way of the private sector. Since we came into office, we have been working tirelessly to build a business-friendly environment that can attract private sector investment to create jobs and to grow the economy towards building a Ghana beyond aid.

“We shall continue to press forward in our efforts to achieve this noble goal. We want to celebrate the success stories of many more private companies, whether they are Ghanaian-owned or foreign-owned, just as we are witnessing today,” the Vice President said.