The Ghana Cocoa Board [COCOBOD] has announced that it will no longer undertake the construction of cocoa roads across the country after the completion of ongoing ones.
The Cocoa Road Program by COCOBOD was initiated to address the transportation challenges faced in bringing agro-inputs to cocoa farmers in those communities and in evacuating cocoa beans to Take Over Centers.
However, in an address at the 50th Anniversary Celebration symposium of the Cocoa Clinic, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the policy will be scrapped following negotiations with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund [IMF].
“The EU sent a team last year to do due diligence on sustainable production and when they came, they wanted to know why COCOBOD was involved in cocoa roads construction because it is not a core business of COCOBOD and they insisted that we take that venture out of our equation and of course, the IMF is also saying the same thing. They say that we can continue with what we are currently constructing and not start new ones.”
That notwithstanding, Joseph Boahen Aidoo also announced plans by COCOBOD to establish health centers across a number of cocoa-growing communities in the country to improve access to healthcare for cocoa farmers.
Meanwhile, a group calling itself the Concerned Farmers Association is complaining about plans by the Ghana Cocoa Board [COCOBOD] to discontinue its Cocoa Road construction program.
COCOBOD announced that after the completion of ongoing projects, the institution will not embark on any further ventures in road construction because it does not form part of its core mandate.
Speaking to the media, the President of the Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana, Nana Oboadie Boateng Bonsu, highlighted the impact of such a move on cocoa production.
“If care is not taken, the country will collapse. A lot of foodstuffs come from Dwaboso, Besem, and the rest. So if they are stopping the road construction, how can the people from Boso-Nkwanta and the rest, which is the cocoa growing area, bring their foodstuffs to the various communities or to the neighbouring cities and districts for people to enjoy? Their roads have been deprived of tarring, and they are very dangerous.”