Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, has assumed the chairmanship of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) at the 5th Steering Committee Meeting held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, who doubles as the Abetifi Constituency Member of Parliament, replaced the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani.
The Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative is the product of President Akufo-Addo and Ivorian head Alassane Ouattara, to bring pressure to bear on international cocoa buyers and trade houses, for a minimum floor price of $2,600 per tonne for cocoa beans produced in the respective countries.
Meetings with stakeholders from trade houses, cocoa purchasing companies, chocolatiers, the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Cocoa Organisation culminated in a decision to introduce a new trading mechanism with the Living Income Differential (LID), set at US$400 per tonne, for cocoa sold by both countries starting from the 2020–2021 season.
Under the new role, Dr. Acheampong is expected to see to the completion and handover of the permanent headquarters of the Initiative in Accra, expanding bloc membership (bringing on board other African cocoa-producing countries), and general restructuring of the CIGCI, as well as roll out the West African Standards for sustainability and cocoa traceability systems.
The CIGCI was born in March 2018 to improve farmer pay and financially improve the lives of cocoa farmers. Regarding keeping the local front compliant with best cocoa practices, the CIGCI is also leading the process for the formulation of the West Africa standards for certification and traceability of cocoa from the sub-region.
Commenting on his new role, Mr. Acheampong promised to utilise his position to further the interests of cocoa producers in particular, and the causes of the two countries.
He stated that his position was crucial and that it aimed to make sure that the dreams of Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana were realised.
As the only way to realise the initiative’s goal, he tasked the participants with making sure that everyone carried their share of the responsibility of adhering to its rules.
Under his watch as an Agriculture Minister, Ghana has raised the state-guaranteed cocoa price, paid to its farmers by more than 63% in a bid to boost income, and prevent beans from being smuggled to neighbouring countries.
The increment will see that farmers receive GH¢20,943 ($1,837) per tonne for the new 2023/2024 season, which started in September 2023, compared to GH¢12,800 they got in 2022.