…Turns Beans Into Roads
The current administration, under the leadership of President John Dramani Mahama, is moving the cocoa sector to a level that has not been witnessed in the history of this country.
Interestingly, for political expediency, certain people, especially those belonging to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), have turned a blind eye to the massive happenings in the sector, which the cocoa farmers are very appreciative of.
One vital area in the cocoa sector, which is witnessing unprecedented progress under the current government is the cocoa roads.
Hitherto, roads in cocoa-growing areas and communities, were unmotorable, but things have changed today for the better.
Government, through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in building the cocoa roads, is improving the economy and the livelihood of cocoa-growing communities and to allow easy conveyance of cocoa beans from the hinterlands to buying centres and warehouses.
One thing that the cocoa roads are preventing is the rural-urban drift, as the youth in those cocoa areas, who are into farming of other crops, are assured of getting their farm produce to market centres with ease.
Before 2014, COCOBOD, contributed to the Road Fund, with the aim of assisting the Ministry of Roads and Highways to improve roads in cocoa-growing communities (COCOA ROADS).
But after 2014, under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, as the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, new arrangements were put in place, where COCOBOD itself awards and funds the cocoa roads projects with the Ministry of Roads and Highways, only providing technical support.
The Cocoa Roads Improvement Programme (CRIP) has been in full flight and lots of roads have seen real progress.
In 2015 alone, COCOBOD, constructed over 600 kilometers of cocoa roads, in all the cocoa-growing regions under the phase one of the project.
The roads under construction include highway, urban and feeder roads.
In the middle of 2016, over 192 different roads were being worked on, with some completed and others at different stages.
One interesting thing is the fact that COCOBOD has put in place serious measures to monitor the projects all over the country.
There were even times that the COCOBOD Chief Executive publicly warned contractors of the possibility of terminating their contracts for slow pace of work.
In the Eastern Region alone, the COCOBOD’s cocoa roads project has taken care of Suhum, Asamankese and Kyebi town roads which were recently commissioned by President John Mahama during a visit to the area a fortnight ago.
In that same region, COCOBOD funded the Kade town roads, Kwafokrom-Apedwa road and the south-bound carriageway. Koforidua-Bonsu, Nsawam-Aburi, Nkawkaw bypass, Nkawkaw-Atibie and Suhum-Asamankese are all part of the COCOBOD road project.
Others roads in the Eastern Region under the cocoa roads are Adeiso-Asamankese and Nsawam-Asamankese roads among others.
In the Western Region, which is widely seen as the hub of Ghana’s cocoa, several roads have been taken care of by the COCOBOD and they include Daboase and Sefwi Wiaso town roads, Prestea, Asankragua and Enchi town roads.
The Sefwi-Bekwai-Eshiam, Sefwi-Wiaso-Akontombra, Prestea-Samreboi, Benchama-Oseikojokrom, Juaboso-Bodi and Akontombra roads, among others, are all part of the cocoa roads project in the Western Region.
The New-Edubiase-Anomabo, Ataase Nkwanta-Owusukrom and the Manfo-Subriso are all part of the massive roads cocoa-growing communities are witnessing today.
The story is no different in the Central Region as the Nkwanta-Mempeasem, Jamra-Adandan, Ekwamoase-Ofabil, Camp-Adjoum and the Brofuyedur-Odoo roads have all been sorted out under the cocoa roads project.
Lots of roads in the Brong Ahafo Region, including Atebubu-Kwame Danso-Kwadwokrom, Goaso-Kukuom junction, Dormaa Ahenkro-Nkrankwanta roads, have been taken care of.
Again in the Brong Ahafo under the cocoa roads are Dadiesoaba-Twabidi, Asuadei junction-Asuadei, Antwirifo-Danyame roads, among others.
The all important Dodo-Pepesu to Nkwanta, Nkwanta-Oti Damanko roads in the Volta Region are all under the COCOBOD roads project.
As a matter of fact, the Cocoa Roads Improvement Programme (CRIP), which is being effectively handled by COCOBOD, has made Ghana’s cocoa roads to see the better of shapes currently than at no other time.