West Africa’s agriculture sector has been under pressure to liberalize; most countries have done that and not always with good result.
In Ghana , however, the COCOBOD is regulating the cocoa sector. As a result the sector is more compared with its neighbour producing countries.
On the other side there may be less room for private sector innovation. Agro Eco has been in the forefront by introducing organic cocoa, preparing the way for other certification schemes as well. Buying cocoa from the farmers is done by various Licensed Buying Companies(LBCs), for fixed price. All export is done by the Cocoa Marking Company (CMC), a subsidiary from the Ghana Cocoa Board(COCOBOD)
However, for a LBC, it is possible to be engaged in a district or community with an intervention, keep the beans separate and buy back the beans from their community, by creating a traceable chain.
Any project has to have an agreement with the cocoa board and all rules and regulations should be followed, which may look a little laborious for newcomers.
Developing a project or value chain means that one has to engage with different Cocoa Board department or services.
Both the public and the private sector have to deal with an increasing number of regulations, standards and expectations on food safety, sustainability, traceability, business and ethical practices. This requires sensitization and capacity building throughout the value chain and with stakeholders. This is important for the development of the sector