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25.11.2005 Business & Finance

Stakeholders on cocoa industry meet

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Accra, Nov. 25, GNA - Stakeholders in the cocoa industry have set up a special committee to study critically and recommend solutions to recent issues raised about the industry in the media, including purchases and payment for the produce.

The committee is expected to present its report and recommendation within a week for the necessary actions to be taken.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on Friday said the agreement was reached during a meeting at the Ministry on Friday attended by about 40 stakeholders of the cocoa industry.

The stakeholders included representatives of Ghana Cocoa Board, Licensed Buying Companies, banks, Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association and the haulage industry.

The meeting discussed among other things, problems associated with purchases of cocoa in the current season, the use of Akuafo cheques, the definition and grading of purple bean and its financial implications for the industry as well as payment of bonuses. The statement said the meeting was to fulfil Government's promise at a press conference last Thursday to resolve issues in relation to recent media reports on complaints of shortage of jute sacks by Licence Buying Companies, farmers not being paid bonuses and large stocks of cocoa that were not being purchased.

Professor George Gyan-Baffour, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who chaired the meeting appealed to all stakeholders to work hard to preserve Ghana's good name on the international market since cocoa was the lifeblood of the economy.