May 13, 2022

The Dutch government is committed to sustainable cocoa production in Ghana

Cocoa is a major cash crop for Ghana

The Dutch government has given assurances of its commitment to supporting sustainable cocoa production in Ghana as the country’s largest importer of cocoa beans.

Ms. Wieneke Vullings, head of a delegation from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said it was important for the Netherlands to contribute to sustainable cocoa production in the country as one of the big beneficiaries of the ‘industry.

“A lot of the cocoa produced here comes from the Netherlands and we want to make sure that the cocoa beans are produced in a sustainable way,” she told media after a visit to a cocoa farm and other Dutch government-funded project sites in Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region.

The delegation is in-country to learn first-hand the realities of cocoa production and how the implementation of the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Program (CORIP II) is impacting the lives of beneficiaries as well as the cocoa sector.

Funded by the Dutch government, CORIP II, implemented by Solidaridad West Africa, is a four-year project that aimed to provide sustainable economic, social and environmental support to farmers to address institutional challenges in the cocoa supply chain. .

Following the successful implementation of CORIP I between 2013 and 2017, the program was extended for four years under CORIP II, having had a significant impact.

Accompanied by Solidaridad officials, the Dutch delegation paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Municipal Executive of Upper Denkyira East, Mr. Ebenezer Forson Appiah and the Regional Director of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division ( CHED) of COCOBOD, Mr. Samuel Asare Ankamah.

They then interacted with Women in Cocoa Cooperative (Cocoa Mmaa), a group that mobilizes more than 600 women cocoa farmers in a rural service center (RSC) created with the support of Solidaridad under CORIP II.

Under the program, CORIP facilitated access to GHS 167,000 in concessional finance for working capital and the purchase of mechanized tools.

Women were also supported to form Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to improve access to microcredit and support each other as a group.

The delegation also visited rain-fed and irrigated cocoa plantations in Bebianiha and Asikuma to assess their performance in terms of yields under harsh climatic conditions.

Ms Vullings said the visit aimed to see first-hand the factors that hinder cocoa production from the source as well as the difficulties faced by farmers to inform them of the type of interventions to pursue in the future.

“I am truly impressed by the collective empowerment of women and the strength they show in doing it themselves as a group,” she praised the women cocoa farmers.

She commended Solidaridad for setting up RSCs and other initiatives that were transforming the lives of cocoa farmers, especially women.