Introduction



Cocoa is the cornerstone of Ghana’s economy. It has long contributed to the country’s economic development and  represents animportant source of employment. Cocoa is Ghana’s major export commodity, accounting for about 30 percent of Ghana’s total export earnings, and provides the second largest source of export earnings. According to the Bank of Ghana, the sector accounts for more than 9% of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over 500,000 farmers depend to a great extent on cocoa for their income, with many others engaged in trade, transportation, and processing activities.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has played a crucial role in positioning Ghana within the global market and ensuring the quality of its cocoa exports. Besides this public support, there has been a strong commitment on the part of the private sector to improve the sustainability of the industry. There are a host of international initiatives supporting sustainable cocoa in Ghana. The aim of these programmes is to improve farmer livelihoods, environmental sustainability and educational opportunities. These initiatives have played an important role in improving cocoa production in Ghana. Despite the progress achieved in the last years, key issues such as farmers’ poverty, or deforestation remain prevalent, due to persistent barriers that individual efforts have not been able to overcome.

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