The European Union has dismissed claims of a ban on Ghana’s cocoa on the international markets.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is said to have warned that Ghana could soon be unable to export cocoa and coffee to Europe due to new legislation.
The law mandates European countries to formulate regulations that ensure that the commodities are harvested, extracted and processed sustainably.
Speaking at the second Edition of Orange Cocoa Day 2022 in Accra, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaarly, said the move must not be seen as a threat to Ghana’s cocoa sector.
“The call for more sustainable cocoa production is growing globally. And our citizens in Europe are increasingly demanding measures for ensuring that cocoa and other commodities are produced in a socially environmentally sustainable way. This explains EU’s legislation on afforestation and forest degradation and must not be seen as a threat to Ghana’s cocoa.”
“There is no ban on Ghana’s cocoa. On the contrary, we want more of Ghana’s cocoa, and we are in support of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire amongst all of the producers who meet these requirements.”
The Deputy Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Katja Lasseur also announced Netherland’s commitment to efficient land use in Ghana.
She revealed that the Netherlands invested a hundred billion Euros in agriculture exports last year.
“Last year alone our total agricultural exports were worth a hundred and ten billion Euros this is made possible amongst other things because stakeholders work to ensure responsible and optimum utilization of land that why we choose this theme because it will help to share our knowledge, technology and investment opportunities to support efficient land use”
In his reflection of the cases presented on how the cocoa sector utilizes land and tree tenure policies in the cocoa landscape, the minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor highlighted the roadmap government is imploring to mitigate deforestation in the country.
He mentioned that Ghana has advanced feasible policies to combat illegal mining in the country.
He opined that government through the Ghana Cocoa board is working with data management system which factors the socio-economic needs of farmers within the value chain of cocoa production.
“We are also implementing the joint frame for action. Which was signed in 2017 with 36 cocoa and chocolate producing companies under the cocoa and forest initiative to halt deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa value chain.” “Under this programme the signatory cocoa and chocolate producing companies have committed to sorting cocoa from forest reserves. To support this the Ghana cocoa board has developed a data management and operational platform consisting of socio-economic data of all cocoa farmers and other key stakeholders in the value chain for the entire cocoa landscape in Ghana.”
On her part, the founder and CEO of Cocoa Mma Co-operative, Leticia Yankey accentuated the challenges that fraught cocoa farmers and more so if they are females. She tied the challenges to the ancient customary system of land ownership. “This situation makes it difficult for we the farmers to rehabilitate our farms which is old and diseased for the fear of losing the land”
The linkage between land ownership and tree tenure comes up when making the documentation. Where the land owners usually insist that: farmers do not have control over ergonomic trees on the land.”
The second Edition of the Orange Cocoa Day which was held on Monday, October 3 was facilitated by Solidarid and rallied key stakeholders such as Cargill Ghana, Sustainable Trade Initiative, Merida, Tony’s Chocolonely, and many others to brainstorm ideas to improve the value chain of cocoa production.
The Day also witnessed vendors, exhibitors, and event managers mounting exhibition boots to display some cocoa products.