The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Solidaridad West Africa have strengthened their partnership to implement and support cocoa initiatives and programmes in the country.
The partnership is also aimed at supporting market transformation by working simultaneously with relevant stakeholders and actors within the cocoa sector.
This was contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, and the Regional Director for Solidaridad West Africa, Mr Isaac Gyamfi.
Mr Boahen Aidoo pointed out that COCOBOD's enhanced relationship with Solidaridad was happening at a time when the government was pursuing strategic partnerships for cocoa sustainability actions in Ghana.
He said COCOBOD was, therefore, confident that under this arrangement, the cocoa sector could benefit enormously from Solidaridad's expertise.
"We believe this partnership will help in stimulating the cocoa supply chain through innovations in good practices and sustainable landscapes management," he stated.
For his part, Mr Gyamfi expressed Solidaridad's commitment to support the continual improvement of sustainable cocoa production systems in Ghana through rehabilitation and intensification approaches that seek to reduce the current area under cultivation.
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That, he said, would free land for other agricultural activities while maintaining the high profitability of the cocoa industry.
"We are determined to work with COCOBOD to pursue conscious programming on diversification alongside cocoa intensification because this can boost the incomes of producers and build resilience for any potential farmgate price volatility," he noted.
Under the MoU, COCOBOD will continue to provide technical and advisory support to the various cocoa programmes managed by Solidaridad West Africa.
These include 'The Next Generation Cocoa Programme (MASO) funded by the MasterCard Foundation" and the "Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) Phase II" funded by the Dutch government, with support from cocoa industry companies and other financial inclusion partners.
The two partners will also explore a deeper working relationship as far as COCOBOD's own programming is concerned.
This will ensure consistency and alignment of programmes implemented by both institutions towards a vibrant and resilient cocoa economy in Ghana.