Indeed, the function of chocolate is an indispensable pre-condition in Ghana ‘s socio-economic development. It provides drift for industrialization at the domestic degree and besides employs a majority of the labour force. Cocoa is the 2nd largest foreign exchange earner for Ghana. Due to the above function, the authorities has had several subsidy programmes to help chocolate production in Ghana. Among these noteworthy intercessions is the Cocoa Mass Spraying ( CMS ) exercising incepted in 2004. The chief purpose of the programme is to back up chocolate farm care by supplying free spraying exercising for chocolate husbandmans. The programme has chopped immense success after 7 old ages of its execution by increasing end product from a mean of 13.68 to 23.80 bags per husbandman per season per acre, stand foring 73.98 % addition in average end product from 2006 to 2009/2010 harvest seasons.
However, against this advancement are larceny, peculation and corruptness in the CMS programme. Among the causative factors includes: deficiency of direct engagement by husbandmans, carelessness on the portion of the responsible establishments and higher illiteracy rate of husbandmans. To cover with these issues, the undermentioned policy options have been proposed in this brief: societal duologue to advance an unfastened method of coordination, new distribution channel and womb-to-tomb instruction for husbandmans. The paper concludes by urging the ‘new distribution concatenation ‘ option for execution based on the analysis of the undermentioned standards: feasibleness, efficiency and cost effectivity
Cocoa is an indispensable trade good for Ghana ‘s socio-economic development: Cocoa offers Ghana tremendous benefits from the assortment of its utilizations in the domestic market every bit good as the international market. It serves as the major beginning of natural stuff for cocoa and drink industries in Ghana ( Nestle Gh. Ltd, Cadbury Gh. Ltd & A ; Kasapreko Beverages Gh. Ltd ) . Besides, its function in employment coevals can ne’er be underestimated. The Bureau of Labour Statistics indicates that the chocolate subsector entirely employs 2 million active labour force at the informal sector of the Ghanese economic system ( 2006, 92 ) . At the international scene, it is the 2nd largest foreign exchange earner after gold. Cocoa, histories for 56 % of gross agricultural exports and aggregated to 8.1 % of the entire Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) for the 2006 financial twelvemonth ( Ghana Statistical Service 2007, 29 ) .
Cocoa production in Ghana:
Get downing from the nineteenth century, Ghana has been recognized for her prima place in chocolate production at the universe phase ( Ninsin 2000, 167 ) . It is doubtless tangible that no other state comes to mind more than Ghana when one references chocolate. Production is carried out in 6 out of 10 parts with a high figure of labour force straight and indirectly employed at the sector. Production capacity of chocolate has been capable to fluctuations in Ghana due to several factors ( Ninsin 2000, 174 ) . First, the deficiency of proper direction of the farms weakens the strength and the lifetime of the chocolate trees doing low productiveness. This is normally caused by unlawful application of the scarce chemicals on the farms. Second, Twumasi noted that monetary value instability at the universe market, which the authorities normally passes to the husbandmans in the signifier of low ‘Free On Board ‘ ( FOB ) monetary value prohibitionists the enthusiasm of some of the husbandmans in the sector ( 2002, 43 ) .
Government intercession in chocolate production in Ghana:
Over the old ages, the authorities ‘s subsidies in the signifier bonuse, low-cost fertilisers, scholarships for wards and nutrient and wellness insurance have been important in the chocolate subsector ( Atakora 2005, 114 ) . One of such showy programmes is the Cocoa Mass Spraying ( CMS ) undertaking which was introduced in 2004 harvest season. The latter intercession was the consequence of the call on the authorities by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR ) agricultural research findings of 2002 harvest season, which revealed the causes and effects of the crisp diminution in chocolate production in Ghana due to billowing cost of chemicals ( 2002, 5, 19 ) .
In February 2003, the authorities equipped the Cocoa Marketing Board ( COCOBOD ) to plan a comprehensive proposal for the CMS undertaking. A commission known as Cocoa Diseases and Plagues Control Exercise Committee ( CODAPEC ) , which was chaired by the Executive Director of COCOBOD was formed ( Ministry of Finance 2002, 107 ) . In December 2003 the commission adopted the proposal which established an independent Secretariat known as the Cocoa Mass Spraying ( CMS ) through a Parliamentary act. The purpose of the undertaking was to ease growing in the production of chocolate that would besides interpret into increasing husbandmans ‘ income to heighten their living criterion.
Since the origin of the undertaking in 2004, the programme has had a important impact on the socio-economic development of Ghana. The 2006 and 2007 harvest seasons closed with a singular addition in production from 599,100 dozenss of chocolate in the twelvemonth 2005 to 740,458 and 736,974 dozenss of chocolate severally ( Ghana Statistical Service 2008, 88 ) . In fact, these betterments made it central for the authorities to implement the ‘Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme ‘ ( CFPS ) in 2008, which aims at helping husbandmans during their old ages. COCOBOD besides increased their scholarship offer by 12 % due to the roar in the sector ( 2009, 11 ) . Indeed, this programme has been lauded by the general populace and the international community as an advanced scheme towards sectoral development.
Mismanagement, fraud, peculation and corruptness in the Cocoa Mass Spraying ( CMS ) programme is non merely a socio-economic threat to Ghana, but it is besides offense of ‘Wilfully Causing Financial Loss to the State, ‘ as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution. Cocoa has systematically been the 2nd largest foreign exchange earner behind gilded accounting for 8.1 % of the entire GDP in 2006 ( Ministry of Finance 2007, 60 ) . Besides, the sub-sector is the largest employer in the non-formal labor sector. Therefore, a lessening in production will accordingly cut down macroeconomic growing and development stableness of the state. Again, the Criminal Procedure Law Section 179 Sub-section 3 ( a ) , of the Criminal Offences Act ( Act 29 ) explicitly states that “ whoever causes a loss, harm or hurt, through the wilful act or skip to public belongings, or endangers security of the sovereignty of Ghana commits an offense ” ( Constitution of Republic of Ghana 1992, 89 ) .
Anas ( 2009 ) revealed the losingss Ghana has incurred in the Cocoa Mass Spraying programme when his docudrama captured the chemicals and other inputs imported by the authorities at the disbursal of ordinary taxpayers money were functioning single parochial involvement. Military officers and the Secretariat were caught selling those merchandises on the nearby Ivory Coast market at a cheaper monetary value than even imported by the authorities. As exposed by the docudrama, these officers connive with cab drivers that ply Debibi – Bondoukou route, which is Ghana – Ivory Coast boundary line, to transport out these barbaric and unscrupulous workss. It was ill-defined why the Customss at that checkpoint has non made even a individual apprehension.
As a affair of fact, their disloyal behavior has denied local husbandmans in the chocolate turning zone of the Brong Ahafo part the best high-tech cultural care patterns of their farms. Jaman, Sampa, Dormaa, Kwameseikrom, Aboabo and Japekrom with a population of 7,710 are the chocolate farming communities described by the COCOBOD as the ‘most-at-risk ‘ group due to their geographic location which falls between the savanna dominated north and the south rain forest part ( Ghana Statistical Service 2010, 203 ) . They are besides referred to as the “ middle-belt-zone ” communities. However, their production capacity contributes vastly to the gross national production end product. These communities have been prioritized by the authorities to ever guarantee the stimulation of their optimum production end product.
Harmonizing to the Crop Research Institute ( CRI ) the needed combination of both pesticides and insect powders for battling diseases and infections are: Eight fungicide types, Ridomil Gold 66 Plus WP ( Cuprous oxide + mefenoxam ) , Metalm 72 Plus WP ( Cuprous oxide + metalaxyl ) , Nordox 75 WG ( Cuprous oxide ) , Funguran-0H WP ( Cupric Hydroxide ) , Champion WP ( Cupric hydrated oxide ) and Kocide 2000 WP ( Cupric Hydroxide ) , Fungikill WP ( Cupric hydroxide + metalaxyl ) and Agro-Comet WP ( Cuprous oxide + metalaxyl ) have been recommended for spraying against the black cod. Similarly, three insect powder types, Confidor ( Imidacloprid ) , Akate Master ( Bifenthrin ) and Actara ( Thiamethoxam ) should be used ( 2002, 147 ) . Contrary to this fact, middle-belt-zone communities have been discriminated against by the crop-dusting officers and the Secretariat every bit good.
As noted from some of the aggrieved husbandmans, for the past 2 agriculture seasons, they have neither received a individual dosage of pesticides nor insect powders as required for healthy cods. The luckiest among them who have had the privilege to have the services of these officers ended up accomplishing less to their outlook. They farther complained that full-packed service attracts a charge of GHA?500.00, tantamount to two bags of chocolate from husbandmans to be paid. Again, these officers manipulate them by coercing them to thumb-print the work attending sheet without cognizing the content and the context.
Presently, the desperate effects of these illegal and unacceptable patterns of these officers are the studies coming from assorted sectors. CIR ( 2010 ) discovered that the husbandmans destroyed 55000 chocolate trees in 2009/2010 harvest season which were infected with conceited shoot disease: with an extra 51000 suspected to be infected by the black cod disease and evidently must be destroyed. Besides, study studies from ‘Joy FM ‘ intelligence desk indicate that 870 Hectors of chocolate farms in the middle-belt-zone were diverted into vegetable production in the same twelvemonth of CRI findings ( 2010, n.p ) . The major impacts are the loss of authorities gross and unemployment at the sector. Furthermore, the culprits of these condemnable Acts of the Apostless are still in the service as no action has been taken against them since the March 2009 docudrama was published.
Analyzing the causes of the phenomenon, the under-listed were discovered:
Lack of direct engagement by husbandmans: The Secretariat together with spraying officers does non affect these husbandmans in any of their activities of the exercising. There are no duologues, audiences and dialogues before and after the spraying exercising between parties: husbandmans and secretariat. As a consequence, the aggrieved husbandmans complained that the work is sometimes done even without their consent and consensus. Some even said, spraying is sometimes conducted in their absence.
Negligence: Problematically, carelessness of responsibility has been a scholarship to the CMS Secretariat for malfeasances. Since 2005, no official studies have been produced by the Parliament and the Ministry. This has been attributed to a deficiency of monitoring and rating by the major stakeholders to guarantee input-output equilibrium of service bringing. As a consequence, answerability, transparence, cheques and balances are minute at the CMS Secretariat ( Asante, Ninsin & A ; Afari 2008, 44 ) .
Higher illiteracy rate of husbandmans: Most of the husbandmans can neither read nor compose, hence doing the middle-belt-zone husbandmans vulnerable to the field officers. The Secretariat and field officers have capitalized on this failing to bully the husbandmans. Because the official linguistic communication is English, and hence every functionary papers is written in English, husbandmans find it really hard to pass on with their working spouses ( CMS ) through this medium and randomly comply with the demands of the Secretariat and field officers.
To efficaciously turn to the above challenges and effectualise the continuance of this programme for national additions, an pressing execution of one of the undermentioned policy options is extremely imperative. Feasibility, efficiency and cost effectivity are the background standards for analyzing these policy options
Social duologue: There should be a three-party commission at the community degree made up of husbandmans association, the territory assembly and the CMS secretariat. The commission should play a major function in monitoring and measuring the work and public presentation of the secretariat and besides the distribution of the chemicals for the crop-dusting. This policy option has ample feasibleness in operation. This is because, there will ever be direct human interaction to cover with corruptness, peculation, larceny and any other cold activities in the CMS programme. However, efficiency may be limited by the husbandmans ‘ illiteracy and the Assembly ‘s reluctance. The husbandmans will be posed with trouble in get bying with meetings of which official linguistic communication will be English while Assembly representatives will put less precedence on the commission ‘s agendas. Besides, it requires extra outgo in the signifier of meeting allowances, commission stipends, commission vehicle for reviews and cost of meetings every bit good as unanticipated commission administrative disbursals.
New distribution concatenation: To successfully minimise the incidence of larceny to the barest in the programme, there should be an enhanced system through which chemicals and other inputs should be distributed. The distribution concatenation should be made in 3 stairss as follows: First the chemicals should be convened from the COCOBOD warehouse to territory distribution Centre. The 2nd phase should so be to go from the territory Centre to local husbandmans ‘ groups. Finally, it should so be distributed among the beneficiary husbandmans, who will so maintain the chemicals for the crop-dusting. Option 2 is extremely executable, really efficient and less dearly-won. All beginnings of chemicals and inputs can be traced easy from distribution channel 1 through to impart 3. In all these phases, records can be kept for mention. Again, it is really efficient because it relegates the presence of mediators ( spraying officers ) who antecedently were given distribution undertaking. Besides, CMS warehouse and conveyance costs are dealt off and this makes the option cost effectual. This policy option will salvage all the parties involved with clip. It does non necessitate the husbandmans and the CMS secretariat to ever line up and wait for meetings.
Lifelong instruction for husbandmans: Government should do it a central precedence to set up a womb-to-tomb non-formal instruction system for husbandmans within the middle-belt-zone to heighten their functional literacy cognition ( Opoku 1999, 72 ) . Through the Ghana Education Service ( GES ) , these local husbandmans should be provided with basic accomplishments in reading and composing. In the long tally, this will assist them better their cognition in high-tech agriculture patterns thereby hiking production. It will besides better the engagement of the brotherhood executive members at the commission degree. This policy option is besides executable because, indexs such as the husbandmans ‘ ability to read write and unwritten communicating look can be measured after some months. Efficiency in this option is nevertheless hard to gauge. The ground is that the sort of teachers the GES will be able to deploy to each community and their ability to incorporate grownup larning accomplishments into their instruction methods is unknown. Besides, it requires excess outgo to cover wages, allowances, populating cost and higher motive of instructors in other to convert them to remain in communities particularly where there is no electricity, doing it less cost effectual.
Deducing from the above analysis, I recommend to the Ministry to follow and implement the 2nd policy option ( new distribution concatenation ) . The principle is that it has both short and long term benefits for the husbandmans and the state. By implementing this policy option, equity, answerability, transparence, cheques, balances and equity will be achieved. All monitoring and rating are besides executable to all spouses involved. The state will be able to mensurate the balance of outgo of planned versus existent and conclude on the profitable accomplishments. It will besides do husbandmans derive direct control over the inputs, therefore its application on farms will be done as required. The policy will besides cut down authorities outgo on fixed cost because: there will be no warehouse cost for the CMS Secretariat.