NAME:NII AYI KOME
THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT ON COCOA PRODUCTION IN GHANA FROM 2006 TO 2010
1.1 Background to the study
For 66 years, Ghana was the largest producer of cocoa beans in the world. However, during the 1977/78 season, this position was lost by the country. Today, La Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana’s direct neighbor is the largest producer of the crop in the world, producing about 1.2 million metric tonnes. In terms of cocoa exports, Cote d'Ivoire accounts for the largest share in West Africa with an estimated 34%, followed by Ghana 17.5% (Based on ICCO figures for 2010). The contribution of the crop to the overall economy of the country cannot be overemphasized. This is what has been the driving force of the various government interventions to support the sector. For instance in 2002, cocoa revenue contributed to 22.4 percent of total foreign exchange earnings to the country (ISSER, 2003). The crop is now contributing over $1billion of foreign exchange earnings to the country (COCOBOD, 2009). Losing the number one position, therefore, is a big blow to the country. The target is not just to be called the number one but due to the important role of the crop to the economy, it is necessary to increase production. To achieve this, several initiatives have been put in place to support the cocoa sector. In 1999, government approved a Cocoa Sector Development Strategy under which cocoa production was projected to increase from the 335,000 metric tonnes to about 500,000 metric tonnes by 2004/5 and to 700,000 metric tonnes by 2009/10 (Quartey 2008). Government again introduced several interventions in 2001. This time a multisectoral approach was adopted to improve yields and the sector as a whole. These include the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of roads in cocoa growing areas; expansion of warehouse facilities; research into the development of high yield cocoa species; and the Cocoa Diseases and...