GHANA—The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has obtained a US$100 million funding package from the World Bank. This financing will restore aging farms in the country’s six central cocoa-growing districts.  

The board revealed it intends to use the funds to support land preparation, provision of farm inputs (seedlings, suckers, fertilizer, and machinery), and facilitate cutting down of cocoa seedlings that have lived for more than 20 years.  

The funds will also provide farmers with extension services and education on best farming practices to optimize yields.  

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, COCOBOD’s CEO, revealed that the rehabilitation process will help rejuvenate farms by removing trees ravaged by disease and those that have outlived their lives and become moribund.  

Boahen Aidoo explained, “Once cocoa hits 20 years and above, it has spent its life span, and from that stage, you realize that it bears no fruits, no pods, and the flowers don’t come, yet the farmer would be maintaining such a farm, and this is not productive.”  

The funding package is intended to improve Ghana’s cocoa production in the medium to long term. It comes at a time when the cocoa market is experiencing significant supply chain disruptions.   

The country’s cocoa sector has been affected by illegal mining, smuggling, disease, and bad weather, which have caused significant shortages in the world’s second-largest cocoa producer. 

According to COCOBOD, Ghana is expected to produce 425,000 tons of cocoa in 2023/2024, a significant drop from the 683,000 tons produced in the previous season.  

In May, the board announced it would borrow up to US$1.5 billion to compensate for lower-than-expected production and finance cocoa purchases for the 2024/2025 season as part of its short-term strategy to address the sector’s current problems.   

These short-term and long-term interventions are expected to induce the cocoa sector’s recovery and ease market supply chain challenges.  

The board remains optimistic that these interventions will greatly improve the sector. COCOBOD predicts the country will produce 700,000 tons in the 2024/2025 season, which starts in September.  

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