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Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has dropped a worrying signal about a decision by the European Union to ban the import of cocoa beans from Ghana.
According to Mr Oppong Nkrumah, ‘there is a new legislation that could soon make Ghanaian cocoa and coffee unexportable to many international markets.
His facebook post on Friday, 30th September, 2022, however did not say exactly could be the reason assigned.
“In Europe, there is a new legislation that could soon make Ghanaian cocoa and coffee unexportable to many international markets. Earlier this week in Brussels, I had the privilege to chair a 2 day forum on …”the future of Ghanaian cocoa and coffee value chains in the face of this new EU legislation”. …the notice stated.
The alert comes in the wake of growing concern about the threat to Ghana’s cocoa production as a result of the increasing illegal mining activities.
Reports say financiers of galamsey activities are gradually taking over cocoa farms by enticing poor farmers with lumpsums of money. Large cocoa belts in the Sefwi areas like, Juaboso, Bia and Akontomra in the Western North Region; Dunkwa and Assin areas of Central region; Atwima Mponua, Amasie, Adansi and Ofinso in Ashanti; parts of the Atiwa forest belt in the Eastern region for example are already facing aggressive encroachment by galamsey operators.
The Minister for Information is however optimistic. The facebook post said ….“Ghana’s Embassy in Belgium led by Ambassador Sena Boateng has moved swiftly to bring this to the attention of the Government of Ghana. It has also commenced work on realigning Ghanaian and European interests in cocoa and coffee.
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire he added, ..”need to act quickly to secure the industry while meeting the interests of European markets else millions of households and our entire economies could be significantly affected soon. Thankfully, this work has started. Our task is to see it through.”
According to 2022 statistica.com data on Ghana’s cocoa exports, the European Union accounts for the largest share of cocoa beans exported from Ghana. In the 2018/2019 crop year, for example, the region covered about 43.7% of the total cocoa exports from the country. Moreover, Asia and North America represented 27.78% and 12.72% respectively while only 0.75% was shipped to South America and 15.03% to other destinations.
Cocoa remains an integral part of Ghana’s economy and national identity, but revenue from the sector appears to be dropping.
The top exports of Ghana today are Gold ($5.93B), Crude Petroleum ($2.71B), Cocoa Beans ($1.28B), Cocoa Paste ($414M), and Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews ($361M), exporting mostly to Switzerland ($3.07B), United Arab Emirates ($1.64B), China ($1.52B), India ($1.18B), and Netherlands ($697M).