The Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, announced in a press conference held in Accra recently that new scales will be used to replace manual weighing scales in the cocoa industry.
The new weighing scales will be used by the Licenced Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) from Wednesday, September 1, this year when the new cocoa season begins.
The introduction of the new scale is to check illegal adjustments, which the CEO described as a pertinent issue in the industry.
Mr Aidoo said COCOBOD had already procured over 44,000 of the electronic weighing scales which would soon be distributed to the LBCs.
“We have worked on this together with the LBCs in total agreement to change the weighing scales from the manual to the electronic system. “We wanted the kind that can be used everywhere in the country. So we have procured both electronic and solar scales,” he said.
Mr Aidoo added that it would end the days when cocoa farmers felt cheated by LBCs whom they claimed adjusted their weighing scales.
He noted that the new electronic scales were recommended by the Ghana Standards Authority following a survey of the manual scales presently being used across the country.
“We take the issue of weighing scale tampering very seriously as we believe it has a negative impact on interventions that COCOBOD has put in place to improve the earnings and livelihoods of cocoa farmers,” Mr Aidoo said.
Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world, just behind Cote d‘Ivoire. Production in both countries accounts for more than 60 per cent of the volume of cocoa beans in the world.
Apart from the 2010/2011 cocoa season which saw the country produce one million tonnes of beans, the country’s production has ranged between 650,000 and 900,000 tonnes.
Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s leading cocoa producer, currently produces about two million tonnes.