The new cocoa management system expected to be rolled out by COCOBOD from October this year, will help promote transparency and inclusiveness in the production and supply of cocoa.

The digital management system will, among other things, gather information of every cocoa farmer and his or her households, farm size and location, and other bio and occupational data, which will be embodied in a unique identification card that will be used by the farmer in all cocoa transactions.

The system will also provide every cocoa farmer with a unique electronic account of which all cocoa sales, payments and other transactions of the farmer will be made.

Deputy Director, Operations at COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Opoku who made these known, said the use of the technology was to help transform and improve operations in the cocoa sector.

Briefing senior journalists in Kumasi on the deployment of the new cocoa management system, he said the technology offered immense benefits for both the farmers, buyers and consumers of cocoa.

Dr Opoku said the use of Geographic Positioning System (GPS) in the mapping, location and measurement of individual cocoa farms would not only help to identify the productivity levels of each cocoa farm but would also help prevent stealing of cocoa beans and production of cocoa from forest reserves and other restricted areas.

He said the registration to collect data on all cocoa farmers had already begun and that about 120,000 cocoa farmers in the western south cocoa region had been registered.

The exercise is currently underway in the Ashanti region to collect information on all cocoa farmers.

Dr Opoku pointed out that the registration of farmers and the measurement of their cocoa farms were free of charge and appealed to the farmers not to pay money to any enumerators or surveyors engaged by COCOBOD to carry out the exercise.

He said international consumers of chocolate were now demanding due diligence and transparency in the cocoa supply chain and there was the need for Ghana to provide accurate data on its cocoa production and supply to ensure that Ghana’s cocoa was not rejected on the international market.

Mr Fiifi Boafo, Media Relations Manager of COCOBOD said the new management system was beyond farmers’ census.

He said it was important to have accurate and reliable data on all cocoa households and farms in the country to aid policy development and implementation in the sector.