Cocoa co-ops in Ghana join forces

83 cocoa co-op unions are coming together to form the new association

A new co-operative association has been established in Ghana to increase the participation of cocoa farmers in decision-making.

The partnership between Ghana’s Department of Co-operatives and international civil society organisation Solidaridad was formalised in Accra with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

The initiative intends to address the current challenges faced by Ghanaian farmers’ co-ops due to lack of representation, and in doing so support their sustainable production of cocoa.

Solidaridad will work to advocate for farmers and build the capacity of cocoa co-ops and associations, while the Department of Cooperatives will support the registration and regulation of the newly formed cocoa co-op association, provide policy and governance training and keep a record of registered co-op unions in the country.

Solidaridad’s Ghana representative, Bossman Owusu, said the organisation is committed to helping farmers grow, adding: “We are dedicated to supporting the capacity agenda, to enable farmers to participate in decision-making processes actively.”

The partnership is part of Solidaridad’s Reclaim Sustainability! programme, which has been working to enhance the capacity of cocoa co-op unions over the past two years. 

In that time, 83 cocoa co-op unions have been supported and brought together for the formation of a national co-operative association.

Humphrey Ayisi, former president of the Fanteakwa Co-operative Union, said: “Our engagements with Solidaridad have brought about a significant improvement in our operations as a co-operative.” 

Ayisi added that with support from Solidaridad, the Fanteakwa Co-operative Union and other cocoa farmers in the Eastern Region also successfully submitted a petition to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and relevant government institutions to put an end to surface mining in the region.

At the event in Accra, the acting registrar for the Department of Co-operatives, Kwabena Apraku Yeboah, expressed gratitude for Solidaridad’s support, affirming the department’s commitment to strengthening Ghana’s cocoa co-ops through partnership working.