A research report on revenue management and producer pricing mechanism within Ghana's cocoa sector was launched in Accra yesterday with a call on the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to relook its strategies to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the sector.
According to the report, there had been evidence of declining efficiency of COCOBOD to generate revenues or positive value addition through the use of its resources.
It indicated that from 2015 to 2017, COCOBOD had been making losses from its operations with the cumulating loss of GH¢ 621.7 million.
Mr King Carl Duho, a Research Consultant at IMANI Ghana, a policy think tank, who presented findings and recommendations from the report, noted that all liquidity measures had declined over the study period, stressing that the overall cash generating capacity of COCOBOD was declining.
He noted that the deterioration of financial ratios questioned how COCOBOD was taking steps to move the sector up the value chain, adding that it was evident that there were difficulties in solely depending on the revenue from sales of cocoa beans while higher economic gains could be achieved when the sector operates up the value chain.
According to Mr Duho, the report suggested the need to improve revenue management of the sector by increasing the terminal price of cocoa received and the production of cocoa.
The report further called on COCOBOD to be proactive in asset management, maintenance culture and facility management in order to reduce the negative effect of not managing the assets and motivate the staff to contribute to the effort.
According to the report, the narrative about the cocoa roads were not favourable considering the economic and social implications on the actors in the industry and urged that such operations be made more transparent and open.
Touching on the perspective of stakeholders in the three most cocoa producing regions in the country, the participants expressed their views about the political nature of the industry and urged the board to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in its operations by choosing merits above politics.
"The strategic decisions regarding capital structure, investments decisions, working capital or long-term decisions should be depoliticised. Politicising these decisions would give more opportunities for some actors to take sub-optimal decisions which would not survive the test of time," the report emphasized.
The report further called on COCOBOD to educate the farmers on cocoa farming best practices and on how to use modern technology to help increase yield.
Mr Kofi Bentil, Vice President of IMANI Ghana, in his remarks stressed the need to infuse more young and educated people in the sector in order for them to bring in innovation to help transform the sector.