OVERSEAS clients of licensed cocoa buying company (LBC), Armajaro Ghana Limited, with headquarters in Kumasi, have released a total of $3.5 million for development projects in some cocoa-growing areas in the country this year under the company’s traceable cocoa project.
The projects, some of which have begun in the Ashanti Region, included schools and the provision of potable water.
The projects are expected to improve the living conditions of people in cocoa-growing areas.
Mr Neil Fuller of the Armajaro Trading Limited in the United Kingdom, made this known at a workshop for franchise holders and accountants of Armajaro Ghana Limited in Kumasi last Friday.
The workshop was organised on the theme: “Traceability and sustainability — Our future.”
The Armajaro traceable cocoa project, which is being implemented in conjunction with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), seeks to trace the source of cocoa purchased by the company with a view to rewarding the communities where the produce comes from.
The reward comes in the form of financial support to undertake development projects in the respective communities.
Mr Fuller commended Armajaro Ghana Limited for being the only LBC in Ghana hooked to the traceable cocoa project.
He stated that there was a high demand for chocolate developed with certified cocoa and therefore challenged the cocoa industry in Ghana to live up to the challenge.
Certification of cocoa focused on best practices by farmers, including improved socio-economic environment in the cocoa production areas.
Mr Fuller said cocoa farmers needed to work in conducive environment to enable them to improve production.
He gave the assurance that his outfit would do everything possible to help Ghana meet the demands of the certification programme.
The Deputy Chief Executive (Agronomy and Quality) of COCOBOD, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, said the cocoa project was participatory because the beneficiary communities were allowed to decide how they would use the monies advanced to them.
He commended Armajaro Ghana Limited for its performance in the cocoa industry.
“They are exporting 30,000 tonnes of traceable cocoa today and are the third best LCB in the country after a relative short period of operation, which is very good,” Mr Adu-Ampomah said.
The Board Chairman of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Fred Quaynortey, urged the field staff of the company to redouble their efforts in their delivery for the betterment of the company and the cocoa industry.
He expressed the hope that one day, all cocoa produced in Ghana would become traceable.
“The Ivory Coast is working fast on this and Ghana has to work hard to catch up,” he said.
The Operations Manager of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Nelson Kpodo-Tay, said the company had zero scale policy, where nothing was done to tamper with weighing scales, stressing that farmers should demand transparency.
Present at the ceremony was the Managing Director of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Rawul Gopinath-Nair.