Connect with us


COCOBOD to hand over 51,537.85 hectares to farmers



Cocoa farm, rehabilitation, COCOBOD, Ghana, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, handing over of farms,

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) will soon begin the process of handing over the management of diseased and overage cocoa farms which have been successfully rehabilitated to farm owners.

National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme

This comes after a successful two-year-long rehabilitation of hundreds of acres of cocoa swollen shoot viral disease (CSSVD) infected farms, under the COCOBOD and government-funded National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme.

51,537.85 hectares ready for hand over

So far, 51,537.85 hectares of diseased and overage cocoa farms have been successfully rehabilitated.


$600m AfDB loan being used to revamp the cocoa sub-sector

Rehabilitation of diseased and overage cocoa farms constitute a major reason Ghana in 2019 secured a receivables-backed $600 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to revamp the cocoa sub-sector.

$230m dedicated to rehabilitation of diseased and overage farms

Out of this amount, about $230 million is being used to rehabilitate some 156,400 hectares of diseased and overage cocoa farms across the country.

1.45m out of 2.5m hectares of cocoa farms considered to be productive


Prior to the commencement of this rehabilitation, it was estimated that Ghana had more than 2.5 million hectares of cocoa areas, of which about 1.45 million hectares are considered to be productive.

2-day tour of cocoa farms in Western Region

The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, made the announcement during a two-day tour of cocoa farms in the Western Region.

He inspected a 145.8-hectare rehabilitated cocoa farm at Kumikrom in the Bekwai District of the Western North Region.

Regular field and farmer-engagement tour


The inspection is part of regular field and farmer-engagement tour of some cocoa communities instituted by the COCOBOD Chief Executive.

Checking the progress of some cocoa road projects

The regular field and farmer-engagement is also an opportunity for the COCOBOD Chief Executive to check the progress of some cocoa road projects in the region.

Owners to receive take-over farms

Interacting with cocoa farmers at Kumikrom, Mr Boahen Aidoo disclosed that it was time for early beneficiaries of the rehabilitation programme to take over the care of their farms.


Strict adherence to good agronomic and agroforestry practices

He asked the farmers to adhere strictly to good agronomic and agroforestry practices to ensure that the farms can produce at their optimum capacity without adverse impacts on the environment.

Curtailing rapid spread of CSSVD on cocoa farms

The National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme, which was officially launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2020, was devised by COCOBOD to curtail the rapid spread of CSSVD on cocoa farms.

Cutting and chemical treatment of cocoa trees on diseased farms


The process begins with the cutting and chemical treatment of cocoa trees on diseased farms.

Disease-tolerant, early bearing, high-yielding cocoa varieties

The farms are then replanted with disease-tolerant, early bearing, high-yielding cocoa varieties.

COCOBOD bears the cost of all the activities

During the two-year-long rehabilitation process, COCOBOD bears the cost of all the activities on the farm and the cost of labour.


GH₵1,000 per hectare paid to farmers

It also gives an amount of GH₵1,000 per hectare to each farmer who has an infected farm which is being rehabilitated. In the case of tenancy, both affected tenant farmers and their landowners are compensated.

315,886 hectares lost to CSSVD

Nationally, 315,886 hectares of cocoa farm had been lost to CSSVD.

A survey conducted in 2017 found that more than half of the 509,295.53 hectares of cocoa farms in the Western North Region had been infected.


Massive drop in production in Western Region

Consequently, cocoa production in the Western North Region had dropped from over 330,000mt in 2010/2011 to 154,000mt.

Safeguards the livelihoods of cocoa farmers

Besides the primary goal of stopping the further spread of the disease and restoring the productivity of CSSVD devastated farms, the programme also safeguards the livelihoods of cocoa farmers, helps to ensure better food security through the planting of plantains, tubers and grains during the first two years as the cocoa trees grow.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs have also been created for the youth in cocoa communities, who provide labour and technical support to rehabilitate the cocoa farms.


COCOBOD set to boost cocoa production with irrigation

Mr Boahen Aidoo also told the farmers that COCOBOD is set to roll out an irrigation programme for farmers in cocoa-growing areas to ensure an all-year round water supply for their farmlands to increase yield.

This is an alternative to counter drought in those areas, resulting in the withering of most of the cocoa trees, stunted growth, and low yield.

According to him, a well rehabilitated farm with irrigation has the potential to fetch 1,809 pods on one tree, which would yield 40 bags of cocoa pods per acre to improve their living conditions.

He hinted of possible fertiliser shortage in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, so COCOBOD has decided to engage farmers to adopt best practices to increase productivity.


In addition to the introduction of the irrigation system, he urged farmers to apply the droppings of fowls around their crops to serve as organic fertiliser.

Mr Aidoo commended the farmers for the massive pruning of the trees and advised them to minimise the planting of cassava to intersperse their farms.

He cautioned against the use of unfriendly farming practices such as the application of unapproved chemicals on the cocoa trees.

The Sefwi Bekwai District Officer of COCOBOD, Frank Amamoo Antwi, said farmers had treated a sizeable number of hectares through pruning, weeding and pollination with the help of the 1,030 rehabilitated farmhands in the district.

He added that the cooperative farmers association, made up of 91 workers, each cultivated four acres of land.


“The COCOBOD has also distributed 162,800 plantain suckers and cocoa seedlings to farmers recently,” he stated and commended COCOBOD for the intervention to boost cocoa production in the area.

 Traditional authorities told to help halt galamsey

He led officials of COCOBOD to visit the KUMAD Global Impact Limited and Afarinick Company Limited’s planting seedling nursery site for the COCOBOD Rehabilitation Project at Suaman-Dadieso.

Addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people, he appealed to traditional rulers to stamp their authority to uproot the galamsey menace, especially in cocoa-growing areas of the country.

According to him, galamsey activities continue to wreak havoc on cocoa farms, which is taking a toll on the cocoa industry.


He said as custodians of the land, traditional authorities wield more power and owed it a sacred duty to conserve, preserve and protect the land from all forms of degradation.

Mr Aidoo bemoaned the situation where many of the cocoa farmlands had been depleted with the indiscriminate cutting of cocoa trees for galamsey activities.

He explained that plans to introduce irrigation system of farming risks being hindered by the negative impact of galamsey, because farmers cannot rely on polluted streams with all the toxin to irrigate their farmlands.

He was worried about the considerable decline of cocoa production in the Western-North Region, which used to produce a chunk of cocoa in Ghana, saying COCOBOD is moving heaven and earth with major innovative interventions to reverse the trend.

The Chief of Suaman-Dadieso, Nana Kofi Armah, lauded the efforts of COCOBOD to streamline issues in the cocoa industry to boost production.


He admitted that the galamsey menace had become a source of worry to farmers in the Western-North Region.

Nana Kofi Armah commended Mr Boahen Aidoo for holding the key to the future of the cocoa industry in Ghana and appealed to COCOBOD to release money given to cocoa farmers on time and emphasised the need for an irrigation system to irrigate cocoa farmlands all-year round.

He acknowledged that the plantain seedlings nursery, which would feed cocoa farms, has provided employment to a sizeable number of youth in the area.

At Tawiah-Krom, Mr  Boahen Aidoo assured the cocoa farmers that COCOBOD would continue to design human-centred policies as part of the Cocoa Enhancement Programme to boost cocoa production and create more employment to better living conditions of people in cocoa-growing areas.

 Western-North Region cocoa roads see facelift


Cocoa-growing roads in the Western-North Region have seen a major boost under the ‘Year of the Roads’ project touted by President Akufo-Addo.

As a result, cocoa farmers can cart their farm produce to the Produce Buying Company (PBC) on time.

Mr Aidoo said this when he inspected works on the 38km  Benchema-Adjoafua road, explaining that the stretch of road is the heart of the cocoa industry and would be completed in no time.

He said the $43 project is funded by COCOBOD and the Government of Ghana and commended the Amandi Construction Works for the quality of work and the solid layer used to asphalt the road.

He indicated that reports from drivers of long trucks loaded with cocoa found it difficult to climb the hills on the serpentine portion of the road in the past.


The CEO said the construction of a steel bridge at Bia, which used to be narrow, is underway and would be completed in the coming months.

Mr Boahen Aidoo said the government had done well in terms of roads and rejuvenated cocoa farms and assured cocoa-growing areas of witnessing unprecedented construction works on their roads in the coming months




















































Ghana’s IMF deal and the bumpy journey of Paris Club debt relief  



Paris Club, Newscenta, Creditor Committee, IMF, Ghana, China,

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board approval for Ghana’s $3 billion bailout package cannot be pinned down to a specified date.

This is because, even if the Paris Club members sets up a Creditor  Committee on Ghana this week after discussions with a Ghanaian delegation led by Ken Ofori-Atta, the duration for the Committee to complete its work is not certain.

Paris Club creditors financing assurances to IMF

Paris Club creditors are expected to provide financing assurances to support the approval by the IMF Executive Board.

Previous cases


Ghana ought to be guided by previous cases, where forming a creditor committee took a couple of months.

Creditor committee for Chad took 15 months

For example, the creditor committee for Chad was formed on April 15, 2021 and it met virtually 15 months later on September 13 and 27, 2022, in presence of the IMF staff and the World Bank staff.

Interestingly, the creditor committee examined the latest developments on the macroeconomic and financial situation of Chad and noted that no debt relief from official bilateral creditors was needed given the surge in oil prices at the time after the approval of the IMF upper credit tranche (UCT) programme by the Executive Board on December 10, 2021.

Sri Lanka’s IMF request took almost 1 year


It took Sri Lanka almost one year to secure approval for $2.9bn (£2.3bn) bailout yesterday, March 20, 2023.

Creditor Committee for Ethiopia took nearly 1 year

The creditor committee on Ethiopia first met On September 16, 2021,

The creditor committee met virtually again on July 19, 2022 and in August 2022, agreed to provide debt relief.

Unnamed IMF official hints of one month for Ghana


But, Ghana can only hope for a speedy process as hinted by an unnamed IMF official who in January said the Paris Club members are all ready to do so for Ghana and hoped it could be done in a month.

The official said Ghana’s case was less complex than Zambia, whose case the official said was progressing after struggling since it became the first African country to default after the pandemic.

Zambia applied in February 2021

In February 2021 Zambia officially applied for a debt treatment under the common framework agreed by the Group of 20 (G20) major economies and the Paris Club.

Zambia’s Creditor committee formed on June 16, 2022


The creditor committee for Zambia was formed on June 16, 2022, in application of “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI.

World Bank and IMF officials keep pressing Zambia’s creditors to accelerate negotiations on reducing the country’s official debt burden but an agreement is only expected this year.

When Ghana can submit report to IMF Board

Even if the Creditor Committee completes its work in record time of one month, it means Ghana can only submit the report to the Executive Board of IMF in May.

Date Executive Board of IMF can meet on Ghana


After submission, how long it will take the IMF Board to meet and approve Ghana’s deal is not known.

Revenue measures

On revenue measures, Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, are outstanding in Parliament.

The consideration and approval of these fiscal measures by Parliament are critical to securing IMF Board approval.

IMF Board approval is expected to restore macro-economic stability, ensure debt sustainability as well as provide critical social protection for the benefit of Ghanaians.


Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about $3 billion.

The passage of the Bills will enable government to complete four out of five agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement.

Agreed prior actions fulfilled

Tariff adjustment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Publication of the Auditor-General’s Report on COVID-19 Spending, and onboarding of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Road Fund on the Ghana integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS) have all been completed.

COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war, soaring energy and food prices, higher interest rates, a strong dollar and a global slowdown negatively affected the economy.


The international and domestic bond markets are shut for the financing of government’s programmes, forcing government to rely on the Treasury Bills and concessional loans as the primary sources of financing for the 2023 fiscal year.

Government therefore needs Parliament to support its financing requests to ensure a smooth recovery from the economic challenges.

Debt Service Suspension Initiative
The Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) was a historic and exceptional measure taken jointly by the G20 and the Paris Club on April 15, 2020 to offer support to 73 eligible low-income countries as they weathered the Covid-19 crisis.

Tanzania benefitted from debt service due suspension

Tanzania benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from   January 1 to June 30 2021.


Pakistan benefitted from debt service due suspension

Pakistan also benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

Cabo Verde benefitted from debt service due suspension

Cabo Verde also benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

Burkina Faso benefitted from debt service due suspension


Burkina Faso also benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

Nepal benefitted from debt service due suspension

Nepal also benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

Kyrgyz Republic benefitted from debt service due suspension

Kyrgyz Republic benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.


Suriname got Paris Club creditors financing assurances for IMF

Paris Club creditors provided financing assurances to support the approval Suriname’s request by the IMF Executive Board

 Zambia benefitted from debt service due suspension

Zambia benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

Mozambique benefitted from debt service due suspension


Mozambique benefitted from an extension of the time-bound suspension of debt service due from July 1 to December 31 2021.

From May 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, Paris Club creditors suspended around $4.6 Bn of debt service due by 42 low income countries that signed an agreement with the Paris Club.

Paris Club treated $614bn debt since 1956

Since the Paris Club was formed in 1956, it has reached 478 agreements with 102 different debtor countries and the debt treated in the framework of Paris Club agreements amounts to $614 billion.





Continue Reading


COCOBOD intercepts over 1,500 bags of cocoa being smuggled



Cocoa, smuggling, Newscenta, arrests, COCOBOD, Taskforce,

Ghana Cocoa Board’s (COCOBOD) Anti-smuggling Task Force in collaboration with the security agencies, has within two weeks, retrieved over 1,500 bags of cocoa, enroute to be smuggled to neighbouring countries.

According to the Director of Special Services at COCOBOD, Mr. Charles Amenyaglo, the win scored against smugglers between the first two weeks of March was through a system instituted by COCOBOD, which comes with incentives for collaborators.

He disclosed that the beans originated from the Western North and Volta regions while arrests were made in the Greater Accra, Volta and Western North regions during transit of the cocoa beans.

In the Greater Accra region, the Mamprobi Police Unit on March 6, following a tip off intercepted 508 bags of standard cocoa beans and 72 bags of cocoa waste beans which was transported from Sefwi Bekwai in a Howo Truck with registration number GS 854-21.

The driver, Abdul Rahman Amadu alleged that he was contracted at a lorry station to load the cocoa beans to Accra.


He was in the process of re-bagging the beans from jute sacks into polythene sacks in order to evade security checks when he was arrested at a school in Mamprobi, which served as the offloading point.

Rahman and two others believed to be labourers have been granted bail with one surety each and are to reappear before the Circuit Court 6 in Accra on April 13.

According to Mr. Charles Amenyaglo, the cocoa beans was released to COCOBOD the next day to prevent deterioration.

“The beans were not thoroughly dried before they were transported and some were drenched in rain water through transit. We had to immediately evacuate them to our Take-Over Centre at Tema for drying, reconditioning and rebagging.”

Following this, 511 bags of good cocoa beans, weighed at 64kg per bag and 123 bags of waste cocoa beans weighed at 50kg per bag was collected.


Cocoa, smuggling, Newscenta, arrests, COCOBOD, Taskforce,

The Anti-Smuggling Taskforce of COCOBOD also saved about 399 bags of cocoa beans from smugglers who were carting them from Dunkwa-on-Offin and Sefwi Bekwai in the Western North region to the Ivory Coast on March 13.

The trucks with registration numbers, AS 885 – 19 and AS 7457 – 17 have been impounded while the drivers have been granted police enquiry bail pending further investigations.

Meanwhile, a 42-year-old Nigerian national, Isaac Oluwaje who claims ownership of 406 bags of cocoa beans, which was intercepted by a surveillance team of the Special Services Directorate of COCOBOD while being conveyed to Togo through the Volta region, has also been arrested.

Oluwaje claims he bought the cocoa through a business contact at Bonsu Nkwanta in the Western North region for reselling in Togo.

Together with the driver of the track with registration number GX 7632 – 14, Oluwaje had rebagged some of the cocoa beans in poly sacks to avoid detection.


Both are still in Police custody after failing to meet bail conditions following an arraignment before court.

Also in the Volta region, a Circuit Court in Denu has remanded two suspected cocoa smugglers into custody.

The suspects, acclaimed owner of the beans, Ebenezer Tetteh and a truck driver, Francis Awuah were arrested on March 13 following a collaborative operation between COCOBOD and the Aflao Command of the National Investigation Bureau (NIB).

The truck with registration number GX 8579 – 22 moved uninterrupted through the Tema Motorway in the Greater Accra region to the Volta region where they were arrested while crossing Ghana’s major border post to Togo.

Mr. Amenyaglo described as worrying, that discreet checks showed that the truck drove past officials of other State Security Agencies unchecked until it was stopped by an NIB officer at the border.


He also disclosed that attempts were made to influence the officer with an amount of 25,000 cedis to release the truck of cocoa beans.

He said COCOBOD will continue to work with Security Agencies to thwart the efforts of smugglers and called for the public to volunteer information to help arrest culprits. He assured of anonymity and reward for all informants.

In Ghana, the law requires Cocoa farmers to sell their cocoa beans to certified Purchasing Clerks who act as agents of the Cocoa Marketing Company, a subsidiary of COCOBOD that oversees the purchase of cocoa beans on behalf of government.

Ghana recorded a shortfall of 300,000 metric tonnes of cocoa in the 2021/2022 crop season, the lowest in 15 years due to a myriad of challenges including over-aged plants and climate change. There are fears that smugglers would worsen the shortfall in the current crop year if not nipped in the bud.

People have been illegally transporting, or smuggling, cocoa beans between Ivory Coast and neighboring Ghana for many years.


Cocoa smuggling between Ghana and Ivory Coast is quite common, with its direction shifting back and forth depending on the price difference between the two countries.

Cocoa, smuggling, Newscenta, arrests, COCOBOD, Taskforce,

Ivory Coast raised its cocoa producer price per bag by nine per cent from 825 to 900 CFA franc.

The cedi equivalent of the 900 CFA Franc per bag of cocoa weighing 64 kilogramme gross is GH₵850.

Ghana also raised the producer price of cocoa by 21% to GH₵800 per bag for the 2022/2023 season effective October 7, 2022.

The producer price for 2022/2023 cocoa season by 21%, far higher than the nine percent in Ivory Coast, the price per bag in Ghana is GH₵800 which is GH₵50 lower than the GH₵850 per bag in Ivory Coast.


The sharp depreciation of the cedi last year is said to be the reason the price per bag is higher in Ivory Coast despite that country raising farmgate price by just nine per cent compared to the 21% increase by Ghana.

People have been illegally transporting, or smuggling, cocoa beans between Ivory Coast and neighboring Ghana for many years.

As long as buyers in Ivory Coast will pay more for Ghana’s higher-quality beans, the smuggling is a lucrative.

Ghana recorded a shortfall of 300,000 metric tonnes of cocoa in the 2021/2022 crop season, the lowest in 15 years due to a myriad of challenges including over-aged plants and climate change.

There are fears that smugglers will worsen the shortfall in the current crop year if not nipped in the bud.


It is the illicit flow of cocoa from Ghana to her next door neighbours that constitutes the major loss of economic wealth

Ghanaian security officials at the borders who permit smuggling should be dealt with ruthless for causing financial loss to the state.




Continue Reading


Judge flees after alleged violent attack on his residence



Judge flees, Newscenta, Bolgatanga, Upper East, attack on residence,

Justice Alexander Graham, a Bolgatanga High Court Judge has allegedly fled the Upper East Region after his residence was allegedly attacked by unknown persons on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

The Ghana News Agency gathered that some unknown persons pelted stones at his house which prompted the security of the judge to call for reinforcement.

The attackers immediately left the scene after sensing the arrival of the reinforcement team, comprising the Ghana Police Service and the military.

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, the acting Supervising High Court Judge of the region was escorted out of the region to Accra.

The reason for the attack is currently unknown, however, it came a few days after the judge presiding over cases in the High Court Two in Bolgatanga convicted two people for contempt of court.


The two are Naab Nyakora Maantii, the Divisional Chief of Baare and Mr Richard Sunday Yinbil, Secretary of Talensi Traditional Council.

It has been reported that the two led a delegation sent by Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang, Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area to request a private meeting with Justice Graham to discuss cases filed from the Traditional Area and were pending before the court the judge was presiding over.

The Judge stormed out of his chambers where the delegation met him and ordered the security in the courtroom to arrest them and charge them for contempt.

The accused pleaded guilty and were subsequently convicted on their own plea.

The Judge described the action from the Palace as an attempt to influence his decision and entrap him and asked them to sign a bond of good behaviour with the Upper East Regional Police Command for a period of six months following several appeals from lawyers in the court when the Judge initially wanted to jail the two persons.


The court did not sit on Thursday and Friday as a result of the attack on the Judge which left persons who had cases to be heard stranded after waiting for several hours.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Talensi Traditional Council and signed by Naab Tampelsong Kun Gaadzom, Divisional Chief of Tindongo, admitted to sending two of its members to Justice Graham to invite him to the Palace for a meeting but refuted claims of influence and entrapment.

The statement noted that the Judge had on several occasions referred cases to the Talensi Traditional Council for resolution and therefore, the request was for the Judge to help the Traditional Council resolve land litigation issues in the area according to its Customary Land Secretariat.

At a press conference, the National Patriots Against Injustice and Corruption Ghana (NAPAIC-Ghana), described the attack on the Judge as “barbaric, uncalled for and shameful” and urged the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah to as matter of urgency, strengthen security to protect Justice Graham, his family and property.

Mr Zumah Tii-roug, Member and Recorder of NAPAIC, who spoke at the press conference, urged the security agencies to conduct a search and investigation to bring perpetrators of the crime to book to serve as deterrent to others.


“There are fears in the region that Justice Alexander Graham would be transferred from the region in the wake of the attack, and this would serve as a bad precedent should he be transferred.

This is so because anytime judgment would be given against litigants, they would resort to this kind of attack on the judge in the hope that the judge would be transferred.



Continue Reading


© 2022 NewsCenta. Copyright - TrueTrust Media Consult

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: