Management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says it plans for establishing healthcare centers in cocoa-growing communities to improve farmers’ access to medical care, citing instances of arduous travel for medical care as motivation.
This was announced by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, during an interaction with some journalists at the 50th Anniversary Celebration symposium of the Cocoa Clinic,
“I have had the experience where a woman, who was in labour and couldn’t deliver in 2001 had to be carried in a hammock and traveled over 28 kilometers and couldn’t survive. And, when we look at the countryside to see how our cocoa farmers struggle to access health delivery, we will be touched to do something; and that is why, as an institution, it is important to bring health services and facilities as closer to these farmers as possible.” He explained.
Cocoa road projects put on ice since 2017,
On the issue of abandoned Cocoa road projects, the management of the COCOBOD says cocoa road projects refuted claims that Cocoa road projects had been put on ice since 2017. He maintained that the cocoa road projects are currently ongoing across the country.
Management, however, promised all road projects under the Cocoa road projects will continue and be completed despite the government’s IMF program.
It further states that new “Cocoa road projects” will not be initiated following Government’s ongoing engagement with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The CEO of COCOBOD, Mr. Boahen Aidoo made this clarification following media reports that all cocoa road projects have been on hold since the Akufo Addo-led administration took governs from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 2017 and the latest order from the IMF.
According to reliable information, the only active IMF program is with the Government of Ghana, not COCOBOD.
The Cocoa Road Programme was initiated by COCOBOD to resolve transport issues pertaining to the delivery of agro-inputs to cocoa farmers and to facilitate cocoa bean evacuation.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo explained that the essence of the cocoa roads was to allow residents in cocoa-growing areas to have easy access to healthcare and other important social amenities to ensure rapid development.
“The EU sent a team last year to do due diligence on sustainable production and when they came, a member of the delegation wanted to know why COCOBOD has been involved in cocoa roads construction because it is not a core business of COCOBOD and the said member of delegation insisted that we take that venture out of our equation; and, the IMF is also saying the same thing.
“They say that we can continue with what we are currently constructing and not start new ones”, Mr. Boahen hinted.
This goes to illustrate the importance of the Cocoa Roads projects embarked upon by the government.