Nigerian Gov’t Delegation In Ghana To Learn about Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire's Cocoa Pricing Mechanism
A five-member Nigerian delegation, led by Engr. Abdullahi Garba Abubakar, Director for the Federal Department of Agriculture, at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has paid a courtesy call on the Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) at Cocoa House in Accra.
The team is in Ghana to understand the joint cocoa pricing mechanism, the Living Income Differential (LID) as well as other pricing policies used by Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire for the sale of their cocoa.
In a statement read on behalf of Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of FMARD, Engr. Abubakar said Nigeria is gearing up to partner with the two highest cocoa-producing countries through the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative to create a stronger bloc to advocate decent incomes for cocoa farmers.
According to him, Nigeria is in the process of joining the LID system, a situation that will help boost the share (income) of the country’s smallholder cocoa farmers in the over US$100 billion global chocolate industry.
‘Cocoa is the highest non-oil contributor to Nigeria's GDP and the country is ranked number four amongst cocoa producing countries in the world', he noted.
According to him, the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), an organized umbrella body of smallholder farmers across the cocoa-producing states in Nigeria, seeks to improve the livelihoods of its farmers through the Living Income Differential of US$400 per tonne.
He was optimistic that Nigeria will meet the requirements outlined in the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative Charter in the country’s quest to become a member.
Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, commended the Nigerian team and the Federal Government for taking steps to align with Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to champion the interest of cocoa farmers in Africa.
The team was further briefed on the conditions which precipitated the creation of the initiative and the goals which underpin its operations.
He briefed the visiting team on the structure of COCOBOD and the respective regulatory systems of the Ghanaian and Ivorian cocoa sectors.
“We are open to Nigeria and even Cameroon joining us”, Hon Aidoo said. The two countries coming to join Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire will create an alliance of countries, whose total production constitutes 75 per cent of the world's cocoa supply, he stressed.
The Executive Secretary of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, Mr Alex Arnaud Assanvo, who was also present at the meeting said the organisation has an aim to expand and “will be glad to have more members joining us to push forward in a more formidable, the need to protect the incomes of our farmers”.
He said Cameroon had also shown interest in joining the initiative and assured the Nigerian team o assistance as they go through the process of becoming a member.