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The engine of sustainability is good pricing – Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa tells Multinationals

Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa Association and a member of the Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP), Ismaila Pomasi,

As part of its efforts to help address challenges hampering the production of cocoa in the country; SEND Ghana in partnership with INKOTA Netzwerk and SUDWIND has taken another step by assembling key stakeholders within the cocoa value chain.

They will also discuss issues bothering living income and human rights in Ghana’s cocoa sector as a catalyst for ensuring improved welfare of farmers as well as increasing government and private sector responsiveness for a sustained cocoa sector.

The two-day conference was held in Accra to discuss living income differential policy and human rights issues in Ghana’s cocoa sector.

Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa Association and a member of the Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP), Ismaila Pomasi who was speaking on behalf of his colleagues said poor prices continue to remain daunting puzzles yet to be tackled meanwhile multinational companies are busily investing in other programmes.

“Most of us live in extreme poverty with no alternative income-generating activities; you look at the issue of galamsey and its level of devastation, if we don’t do something at this time to give some level of assurance and some kind of motivation to our farmers, in terms of the pricing, then farmers will continue to sell their farmlands to these illegal miners.

“The prices are still too low; companies have publicly stated support for the LID, others have tried to reject or circumvent the relevant markets to avoid paying the premiums whiles others have tried to negotiate with governments to bring the producer floor price down” he revealed.

Chief Executive Officer for SEND Ghana, Siapha Kamara indicated that it is important value chain actors critically look at the poor cocoa buying price which has subjected cocoa farmers in Ghana to poor living conditions.

According to him, the purpose of this two-day conference is not only to highlight the various ways in which the cocoa sector is abusing the rights, especially of children and women but also to bring to the fore that cocoa buyers are equally violating the rights of cocoa farmers by buying cocoa at very poor prices.

“We believe that farmers should not just be living. They should be thriving. That should be the goal and that is why we prioritize two things. The first is that the buyers should pay better prices.

“There should be freedom to organize. We are encouraging the cocoa farmers to have an independent voice,” he indicated.

Executive Secretary of the Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative, Alex Assanvo said he agrees that multinational companies must be able to offer a remunerative price, a fair and just price for the farmers who are at the start of the value chain, to enable them to have a living income.

“We will need the expertise of many to achieve our strategic vision of an Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa and ultimately, deliver on higher prices for the farmers on the pathway to a living income.

“We urge you all, as civil society, and indeed the private sector partners here today to look critically at the part you play in the value chain and ensure that we all are driving action that delivers impact for the farmer,” he said.

In attendance at the two-day conference were officials from Ministry of Finance, Members of GCCP, GARDJA, SEND Ghana, EcoCare Ghana, Oxfam Ghana, Rainforest Alliance, SUDWIND and Concerned Cocoa Farmers Association of Ghana.

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