Continuation of Existing Cocoa Road Projects: The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has provided clarification regarding the status of cocoa road projects in the country.
COCOBOD has affirmed that ongoing cocoa road projects will be continued and successfully completed, despite the recent engagement between the Ghanaian government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, the initiation of new cocoa road projects will not be pursued at this time.
The statement from COCOBOD on Monday, August 14, 2023, comes in response to certain media reports suggesting that all cocoa road projects had been halted due to directives from the IMF.
The Cocoa Road Programme, an initiative launched by COCOBOD, aims to address transportation challenges related to the delivery of agricultural inputs to cocoa farmers and to enhance the evacuation of cocoa beans.
Speaking at the 50th Anniversary Celebration symposium at the Cocoa Clinic on Thursday, August 9, 2023, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the CEO of COCOBOD, emphasized that the current stance of the IMF is to allow the continuation and completion of ongoing cocoa road projects while discouraging the initiation of new ones.
He underscored the significance of cocoa road projects in enabling residents of cocoa-growing regions to access essential services like healthcare and other vital amenities, contributing to accelerated development.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo noted that during a visit by a European Union (EU) delegation, a member of the team questioned COCOBOD’s involvement in cocoa road construction, asserting that it is not a core function of the organization. This sentiment was echoed by the IMF. While the IMF’s position is aligned with the EU’s suggestion, it underscores the importance of focusing on completing existing projects before embarking on new ones.
The CEO also highlighted COCOBOD’s commitment to improving healthcare access for cocoa farmers. He shared a poignant anecdote about a woman in labor who had to travel over 28 kilometers in a hammock to reach a healthcare facility, underscoring the dire need for better healthcare infrastructure in cocoa-growing communities.
In conclusion, COCOBOD clarified that their intention is to prioritize the successful completion of ongoing cocoa road projects and enhance the provision of essential services to cocoa farmers while refraining from initiating new cocoa road construction projects at this time. The organization remains dedicated to advancing the well-being and development of cocoa-growing communities in Ghana.