The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) forms a ‘Cocoa Management System’ (CMS), this is a national database of cocoa farms and their owners.
The first tranche of a US$600 million syndicated loan secured from the consortium of international lenders led by the African Development Bank is received. They have used this funding to begin its first steps towards restructuring how cocoa farmers are supported.
The CMS will also capture information about products and service providers, their capacities and pricing, with the ultimate goal of matching them with the cocoa farms that need those products and services.
Currently, around 1,000 farmers data has been collected and they have been issued with Cocoa Identification Cards (CIC).
This was a prerequisite to establishing the CMS. The next step is to expand the database to cover the entire cocoa farming industry, comprising 673,377 identified farms, spread across 1,404,388.27 hectares of land, cultivated by approximately 800,000 households.
It will also gather information on purchasing clerks and their locations as well as service providers and production input provider, such as fertilizers and pesticides providers.
COCOBOD hopes to register data on 1.2 million individual farmers onto the system but it comes at a price. The exercise is expected to cost US$10.69 million and will be financed out of the US$200 million second tranche of the syndicated loan, which is scheduled to draw down during the last week in December this year.
Registered farmers are to be issued with Cocoa Identification Cards that will be linked to the National Identification System with cards becoming primary identification documents with which the farmers can access production inputs and extension services, initially from the state at subsidized rates but ultimately from private enterprises on commercial terms.
Registration onto the CMS will provide confidence to private suppliers providing the farmers with products and services on credit terms and will provide commercial lenders’ confidence in providing short term credit financing towards production.
The CMS will be able to match farms and the providers of their production input, extension service and financing needs, with registration on the database serving as an assurance that financial, input and service credit can and will be repaid from revenues earned from eventual cocoa bean sales.