OVERSEAS clients of a licensed cocoa buying company, Armajaro Ghana Limited, have committed $3.5 million to development projects in some cocoa growing areas of the country this year, under the company’s traceable cocoa project.
The projects, some of which have begun in the Ashanti and Central regions, include the construction and rehabilitation of schools, provision of potable water, among others.
They are expected to improve the living conditions of people in cocoa growing areas where the traceable cocoa project is being implemented.
Mr Neil Fuller of the Armajaro Trading Limited in the United Kingdom, an overseas client of Armajaro Ghana Limited, made this known at a workshop for franchise holders and accountants of Armajaro Ghana Limited in Kumasi.
The workshop was organised on the theme,” Tractability 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 the view to rewarding the communities where the produce came 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 licensed cocoa buying company in Ghana hooked onto the traceable cocoa project.
He indicated 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 posed by the certification of cocoa focused on best farmer practices including improved socio-economic environment in the cocoa production areas.
Mr Fuller said cocoa farmers needed to work in a conducive environment to enable them improve production.
He gave the assurance that his outfit would do everything possible to help Ghana meet the demands of the certification programme.
The COCOBOD Deputy Chief Executive (Agronomy and Quality), Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, said the project was participatory because the beneficiary communities were allowed to decide how they would use the money 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 is the third best licensed cocoa buying company in the country after a relative short period of operation, which is very good,” he said.
The Board Chairman of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Fred Quaynortey, urged the field staff of the company to redouble their efforts in their performance 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.
Mr Nelson Kpodo-Tay, Operations Manager of Armajaro Ghana Limited, said the company had a zero scale policy where nothing was done to tamper with weighing scales, stressing that “farmers demand transparency”.
Present was the Managing Director of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Rawul Gopinath-Nair.