The Ghana Cocoa Board says it will reward security officers who prevent attempts by people to smuggle cocoa with two-thirds of the value of the product.
According to the agency, this will encourage security officers to protect the product which is of huge value to Ghana’s economy.
Ghana’s cocoa, being one of the best on the world market, has been smuggled through porous borders for years.
Speaking at Ho during a 3-day working visit to the Volta and Oti Regions, CEO of COCOBOD, Mr. Boahen Aidoo, commended the Volta Regional Security Council for their effort in seizing several bags of cocoa that were being smuggled into neighboring Togo.ADVERTISEMENT
Mr. Boahen Aidoo said the board of directors of COCOBOD have approved the decision to reward security officials who prevent cocoa from being smuggled.
“We will encourage them to continue this noble duty that they are undertaking for our dear Ghana. But whiles saying that, we have taken the matter to our board of directors who have approved of some motivational package as a form of compensation to security people who risk their lives in trying to curb smuggling of cocoa,” he said.
He also stated that this is important because Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have jointly been able to secure a living income deferential which brings to Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire 400 dollars per every ton of cocoa that is sold.
“This means for every ton of cocoa that leaves this country without going through our trading room, Ghana loses 400 dollars. This is outside the terminal market price. And if we are able to secure everything and sell outside it means for every ton of cocoa apart from the terminal market price this country would be earning 400 dollars, that is per ton,” he further explained.
“…So in view of that, and the fact that we want to have all our cocoa intact to trade, the board of directors of Ghana COCOBOD has decided that for every contraband cocoa, two-thirds of the value of the proceeds must be given to the security agency. That is the personnel that were involved and all those that aid in curbing the smuggling,” he said.
Cocoa production has been the backbone of Ghana’s economy since the 1870s. It dominates the agricultural sector and contributes about 30% of the country’s export earnings.
Cocoa employs about 800,000 farmers directly and also supports the livelihoods of others in the commerce, service and industrial sectors of the economy. This makes it an important generator of revenue.
In 2018/2019, Ghana is estimated to have produced about 812 thousand tons of cocoa beans, a decrease from approximately 969 thousand tons in 2016/2017.
Already, the Ghana COCOBOD has downplayed suggestions that the producer price of cocoa may fall due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
COCOBOD in 2019 increased the producer price of the beans from GH¢7,640 to GH¢8,240 per tonne.