Samuel Adimado, the President of the Licensed Cocoa Buyers Association of Ghana (LICOBAG), has encouraged stakeholders in the Cocoa sector, to maintain the best practices leading to high productivity levels and quality beans by the country.
He said to achieve these, stakeholders especially the farmers, must work hard, and in collaboration with the COCOBOD and the quality control Company to sustain the production of premium quality cocoa beans that Ghana was noted for.
Mr Adimado, in a media interview at the end of a two-day Cocoa Conference in Accra on the theme:” Rule and Procedures in International and Internal Cocoa Business Management,” to provide refresher training for members of the Association.
He said, “Ghana is noted for premium cocoa, therefore, our quality is supreme, so we need not relax on our laurels but hold onto it, and for that matter, we need to continuously do refresher training for our members and that is what has culminated into this particular workshop”.
Among the topics discussed at the Conference were quality concerns, good warehousing practices, and maintaining quality in storage, shipping advice and processes, digitization of payments in cocoa operations, and funding opportunities.
Mr. Adimado said the excitement of COCOBOD signing on to the syndication fund of $ 1.5 billion was an indication that business in the sector was thriving.
He said all Local Buying Companies (LBCs) were quite happy and appreciative of the efforts by the COCOBOD and thanked the managers and management of the organization.
He further indicated that all actors and stakeholders in the cocoa industry were looking up to the opportunity to hold on to the production of the one million tones that had been earmarked, and to stick to the strategies that made them achieve the set production level.
On the impact of Climate Change on cocoa production, he explained that although rains were needed for productivity, the country was enjoying good rainfall, “what we need to do is to utilize the various knowledge to ensure that quality is enhanced,” he added.
Mr. Adimado said the workshop was to equip their members with the needed knowledge and skills to improve quality at the upcountry and the storage level, and innovative ways to ensure prompt payment of farmers, digitizing their payment system, employing e-payment to ensure that farmers received their monies promptly.
The regulator, he said, was also embarking on many innovations to ensure an effective space in the e-payment system, to enable their members to become active actors in the digitization policy and strategy of the government.
“So quest for knowledge is a challenge and therefore as an Association we need to also help our members, and together be at the forefront of knowledge-seeking and work with their collaborator to ensure that they utilize available knowledge for success,” he said.
He said the digitization process for payment was a gradual one, but some of the members were already hooked onto the system and could share their experiences with the others, while the regulator continued to embark on a massive effort to digitize the entire cocoa purchasing and payment systems.
The LICOBAG President assured the members of the continuous support of the Association, especially to those who had challenges with the tools required for smooth business, as well as engagements with farmers in terms of ensuring that funds mobilized went to the beneficiaries for improved production and sustained success.