The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) says the introduction of a Cocoa Management System (CMS) to address the nipping challenges in the cocoa sector will also track the progress of children in school. 

According to the Board’s Head of Public Affairs, the system, once completed, will present data on farmers’ children. 

Fiifi Boafo believes it will help them check child labour and how cocoa farmers’ children adapt to their education.

“We will take information children, ages of the children, and what they do will also be captured,” he opined.

COCOBOD will the use the data to track the progress of the children in school. The real-time data will be updated from time to time to be able to have precise figure for cocoa development. 

Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, producing an average of 800 thousand metric tonnes. 

But challenges at the sector are multiple, including lack of reliable data for planning. Within the framework of national solution to the challenges, Cocobod has introduced cocoa management system.

The system will enable officials at Cocobod to determine age of farms, size, number of farmers among others. 

The farmers will also be registered and issued new biometric ID cards with unique code, without which no cocoa can sell his or her beans. 

Several other challenges of the cocoa farmers will be addressed. For instance, payment centers will be set-up within communities where farmers can redeem their cash with a personal unique code. 

Mr. Boafo says Cocobod will crosscheck every data collected to ensure there are accurate.

Cocobod engaged some selected journalists in the Ashanti Region to ensure the successful implementation of the CMS, which is an integrated data management platform on cocoa farmers and other stakeholders.

According to Mr Boafo, it is important to effectively engage the media for better dissemination of information and, clear misconceptions about the CMS.

Sensitization on the Cocoa Management System has begun in the region. Mapping of cocoa farms and enumeration of cocoa farmers will soon follow in order to give them unique identification (ID) cards.