The Executive Director of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) Mr. Michel Arrion has said he would ensure that cocoa farmers receive remunerative prices for their produce. This, according to him, will ensure equitable distribution of revenue accrued from the cocoa trade.
‘My priority is to ensure that cocoa farmers all over the world get descent prices for their produce’, he stated.
Mr. Michel Arrion disclosed this when he conferred with Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in Accra as part of his official duty tour of cocoa producing countries in Africa. Mr. Arrion lauded Ghana for being the world’s second best producer of cocoa and the strides the country is making in ensuring sustainable cocoa production. He promised his administration’s commitment to collaborate with all producing countries to a chart a common agenda and strategy and advance programmes that will promote ethical practices to preserve and protect the environment and eco-system.
Mr. Arrion hinted that he would soon be outdooring a 5-Year Strategic Action Plan in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in line with his vision to addressing the challenges affecting the world cocoa economy. Speaking on plans to check price volatility, the ICCO Boss said there is the need to synchronize the activities of all producing countries for the collective interest of all producers and farmers and called for cooperation.
Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of COCOBOD responding to the issues raised by Mr. Arrion said COCOBOD had made significant progress in sustainable cocoa production, sustainable domestic consumption, and forest preservation. Hon Aidoo promised his Management’s commitment to work closely with the ICCO to address, especially, the continuous fall in the world cocoa price of cocoa. According to him, although farm productivity is rising due to the combined effects of the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) implemented by the Board, the cocoa farmers are yet to benefit enormously to enhance their livelihoods.
‘Cocoa farmers who adopted our productivity enhancement initiatives have recorded higher yields but the falling world price of cocoa is still a matter of concern,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Michel Arrion is the new Executive Director of the ICCO who replaced Dr. Jean Marc Angah and brings to the ICCO, 30 years professional experience in Africa. He is looking forward to the opportunity to use his experience and knowledge of the cocoa sector to work with various stakeholders to address the challenges facing the sector.