Divisions within Cocobod
Cocobod can be split up in two main sections. These sections are pre-harvest and post-harvest and affect multiple partners within the cocoa chain. These two are discussed below.
The pre-harvest affects the farmers. The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) is the best known division, which was established in 1938. As the Central Cocoa Research Station of the Gold Coast. One of the tasks CRIG carries out is doing research into problems relating to the production of cocoa, coffee and sheanut. The tasks done by CRIG for coffee and sheanut are not discussed in this report due to its irrelevance. CRIG also provides help to farmers with farming. There has been set up the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit (CSSVD-CU) to help farmers fight this menace. The CSSVD-CU is allowed to visit cocoa farms and chop down diseased trees. This is done to prevent viruses from spreading and wreaking more and more cocoa trees. This all to boost cocoa production.
In return, Cocobod delivers a seedling to cocoa farmers for every tree that has been cut down. According to our meeting with Cocobod, 50 million seedlings were made available, but the it was not enough. Therefore, Cocobod increased the number to 60 million seedlings for 2016.
CRIG also has programs that deliver pesticide and fertilisers to farmers for free. However, according to the cocoa farmers, most of the time the services arrive late or not at all. On the other hand, there were logical explanations to this matter from Cocobod. We spoke to James Kofi Kutsoati, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations), from Cocobod, see”Figure 32. Meeting with James Kutsoati” on page <?> He told us that not all farmers are eligible for the programs of the CRIG. It is not realistic to supply all cocoa farmers on time with all the necessary equipment. Therefore, Cocobod decided to apply rules on the last year started initiative.
Cocoa farmers whose farm is younger than six years or older than fifteen will not get fertilisers from Cocobod. Also, farmers who have diseased trees will not benefit from the program.
Beside these strict rules, Cocobod only chose specific regions where they spread out the fertilisers. Due to the bad infrastructure in some cocoa regions, Cocobod decided to start in the areas that have the highest chance of success; those with high productivity and relatively good roads.
As cocoa farmers previously thought that they would all benefit from the program, but Cocobod set rules where farmers should comply to, indicates that the communication between Cocobod and the farmers is not ideal.
As already mentioned, the project was initiated only last year. The demand was much higher than Cocobod could ever supply. As this program continues, James Kofi stated that they are increasing the capacity.
In 2015, Cocobod started investing $150 million per year in road improvement for the next five years. [Ghanaweb, 2015] These constructions concern the cocoa roads and enhance the logistics for the cocoa bags as well as the equipment for cocoa farmers.
The help CRIG provides is clustered in different segments; Education, Healthcare, Provision of Solar Powered Lights and Provision of Solar Powered Boreholes. Also the organisation claims that they have instituted several programmes that ensure good agronomic practices like farmer trainings.
The second part, the post-harvest involves the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) and Quality Control Division (QCD) which are the two main bodies.
The Quality Control Division visits the depots of LBCs and checks the quality of the cocoa and seals the bag and stamps it with premium or no premium quality.
Afterwards the The Cocoa Marketing Company comes and picks up the cocoa from the LBC depots. The Cocoa Marketing Company is the only organisation that is authorised to export Ghana cocoa. The CMC is responsible for selling and exporting the cocoa from Ghana to international licensed buyers or to factories located in Ghana. This all on a forward basis and for the best possible price.
“The mission of the Board is to encourage and facilitate the production, processing and marketing of good quality cocoa, coffee and sheanut in all forms in the most efficient and cost effective manner, and maintain the best mutual industrial relation with it objectives.”
To accomplish this mission Cocobod uses resources. One of these resources is the weather information from GMet. However, from our meeting with the Deputy Chief Executive, we are able conclude that GMet does not have the accurate data to fully assist Cocobod. Due to climate change the total cocoa production in Ghana is decreasing. When we told him about TAHMO and explained that they are mainly active in the cocoa regions, Mr. Kutsoati seemed very interested in this initiative.
Child labour is another struggle, but the amount of working children is going down. Cocobod cooperates with third party cocoa buyers building schools and they really see results. In the past there was definitely child labour. Now research is done by the research department of Cocobod, and it shows that there is less active child labour.
The Ghanaian soil is full of gold and there are a lot of people desperately looking for it. Illegal mining is bad for the cocoa industry. Sometimes the landowner, who is most of the time the chief of a commodity, sells the cocoa farms for a lot of money to the miners. The miners then destroy the trees in search for gold.
Another struggle is the increase of the farms. Big farms are being divided in smaller farms. This could be a result of the inheritance of a farm divided between multiple inheritors. For Cocobod and for the LBCs, this increase of small farmers becomes harder to handle.
“To sell to the external land local markets at the best prices obtainable and to undertake its marketing function in a manner which will maximise the foreign exchange revenue that will accrue to the country.”
Companies are only able to do business with Cocobod if they have a financial capacity for buying at least 2,500 tonnes of cocoa per crop year (1st October to 30th September). The minimum amount of cocoa per order in all the main ports are 50 tonnes. [Cocobod, 2015]
With all the research the minor group has done, a persona was created, see “Figure 33. Persona Cocobod” on page <?>. A persona is a collection of interesting items about the certain person, so the needs of Cocobod are clearly visualised.