Netherlands Ambassador urges Ghana to protect its cocoa heritage

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Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, is urging Ghana to act in order to protect its cocoa heritage and avoid becoming known solely as the “Gold Coast.”

According to the Ambassador, Ghana is currently at a “crossroads” in sustaining its cocoa production, with the country’s choice between gold and cocoa being one that cannot be made through policy alone, but rather through practical measures to safeguard the industry.

Speaking on JoyNews AM Show, he wondered whether “…Ghana wants to become the Gold Coast again, or does it want to become the Cocoa Coast? So far, the choice is not made explicitly in policy but in practice, because if you look at the export of cocoa and the share of cocoa within export, which has been declining significantly.

The most recent figures. The share of gold has risen from 40% to 50%. The share of cocoa has reduced from 20 to 12%. So, Ghana is making the choice to become the gold coast again, whereas it has the chance to become the cocoa coast”.

Mr. Verheul highlighted that in COCOBOD’s twelve-year history, Ghana has not turned a profit in the past two years and has either incurred losses or merely broken even in 10 of those 12 years.

He noted that this financial struggle persists despite cocoa prices reaching their highest levels ever this year.

“COCOBOD is expected to run again at a loss. I think Ghana has to ask the question: Are we running COCOBOD in the right way? We are only customers of COCOBOD, and we look at it from the outside, but we do have those questions. I think Ghana has a question to answer in this regard,” he noted.

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