Ghana’s Cocoa Day takes place every year on 1 October and is a celebration in honour of the Cocoa farmers who ensure that the country’s Cocoa sector remains strong and viable.
This year, COCOBOD organised an exhibition of Cocoa products, organic fertilisers and agrochemical products as part of its activities. The theme of the exhibition was “Sustaining our environment, prosperity, and health”.
Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, COCOBOD’s Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance and Administration, highlighted the importance of Cocoa to Ghana’s socio-economic growth. He expressed concerns about illegal mining, which threatens not only farmers’ livelihoods but also Ghana’s Cocoa sector as a whole.
In our efforts to improve the lives of Cocoa farmers and the fortunes of the industry, we face an unprecedented challenge of illegal mining, which has the potential not only to cripple the Cocoa sector but also threaten our basic means of survival as humans.Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, Deputy Chief Executive, COCOBOD
According to him, a more aggressive approach to sustainable Cocoa production is needed to combat the impact of illegal mining and to be in line with stricter European Union regulations and the changing expectations of global consumers.
He also spoke about the health benefits of Cocoa, citing the essential minerals and antioxidants found in the commodity as potentially helpful with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, among other ailments.
He urged Ghanaians to consume more local Cocoa products to support the Cocoa sector and take care of their own health.
Let us demonstrate our commitment to this course by serving Cocoa drinks at our naming ceremonies, weddings, parties, funerals, state functions, in all social gatherings and homes.Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, Deputy Chief Executive, COCOBOD
The Minister for the Eastern Region, Seth Kwame Acheampong, also announced that the government would take measures to improve the social and economic welfare of farmers. He cited a pension scheme for Cocoa farmers as an example.
The Cocoa Day exhibition was attended by multiple companies and financial institutions, including New OKAFF Industries Ltd, which manufactures insecticides and anti-snake larva repellent; Agrokhem Ltd, a distributor of organic fertilisers and agro-chemicals; Access Bank, CAL Bank and Golden Pod chocolate drink.