As Ghana celebrated International Cocoa Day on Saturday (1 June), producers were warned by head of state Colonel Ignatius Acheampong that the vital cocoa industry is currently afflicted by "dangerous stagnation".
SV Acheampong shakes hands
SV & GV Tribesmen seated (2 shots)
SV Acheampong shaking hands with tribesmen
SV & GV Crowd seated (2 shots)
SV Acheampong onto rostrum and seated
GV Audience and officials (2 shots)
GV Acheampong speaking and audience listening (4 shots)
SV Tribesmen receiving gifts while audience watch (3 shots)
SV PAN Acheampong leaving and waving
Initials BB/0037 TH/PN/BB/0049
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Background: As Ghana celebrated International Cocoa Day on Saturday (1 June), producers were warned by head of state Colonel Ignatius Acheampong that the vital cocoa industry is currently afflicted by "dangerous stagnation".
Colonel Acheampong was speaking at festival celebrations in Kumasi, where government leaders, chiefs and cocoa board officials were at a colourful durbar.
In his speech, the head of state said that cocoa was still the lifeblood of Ghana, and proceeds from the industry were essential to aid the diversification of the economy into other industries. He added that because of the current stagnation, the government had last week set up the Cocoa Production Committee to seek out causes of the decline and remove them.
SYNOPSIS: Ghana's head of state, Colonel Ignatius Acheampong, arrived to lead celebrations of International Cocoa Day at a Kumasi durbar on Saturday. The vital cocoa industry has been a cause of concern to the government recently. Only the previous week, it had set up a national Cocoa Production Committee to investigate the current decline in annual production. In recent years, there's been an annual three per cent deep in production. The new committee will have to examine the problems confronting the industry at present. There's been a continuous decline since the record-breaking 1964 crop.
In his speech at the durbar, Colonel Acheampong declared that cocoa is still the lifeblood of Ghana. And the country relied on earnings from cocoa to aid diversification in other industries. He therefore considered that the current stagnation is dangerous to the country.
The head of state had given a few indications of how the government intends to aid the cocoa producers: old farms will be revived, new ones set up, crop diseases tackled and farmers given necessary financial help. But he warned chief officials of the cocoa board, present at the gathering, that they would face the wrath of the government if the loans were badly administered.
Ghana used to produce about half the world's supply of cocoa. Today, it provides just over a quarter. As Colonel Acheampong said, the industry faces a period of intense renewal.