Ghana, the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, has signed a deal Barry Callebaut AG, one of the leading cocoa processing companies in the world, to commit to a project that will ensure sustainable cocoa farming in the West African country.
According to a statement issued by COCOBOD, Ghana’s cocoa sector regulator, the project will help create a cocoa sector that will generate living incomes for cocoa farmers whilst ensuring that the sector is free from the worst forms of child labour and deforestation.
Its Chief Executive Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said during the signing ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland that the cooperation will help tackle some of the issues Ghana’s cocoa industry, including deforestation, child labour and poor conditions of farmers.
He further stated that the move would also help curb the menace of illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) and other issues currently confronting the cocoa sector.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Barry Callebaut, Antoine de Saint- Afrique lauded the partnership between the two institutions. He pledged his outfit’s commitment to contributing to the growth of Ghana’s cocoa industry, by initiating projects that would support the next generation of cocoa farmers through access to agricultural lands, financing, among others.
According to him, the collaboration would also help COCOBOD replant farms affected by the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) and also include an agroforestry approach to diversifying cocoa farmers’ income.
The two parties were optimistic that the partnership would see the two organizations working together to enhance the conditions of the cocoa farmer whilst ensuring a sustainable cocoa economy.