The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is set to begin exercising formal ministerial responsibility over Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) as processes to legalize the new regime are nearing completion.
This follows the second reading of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017 last week in parliament.
Although, ministerial responsibility is already being exercised by the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), this is yet to be approved by an Act of Parliament.
The goal of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Amendment) Bill seeks to modify Section 39 of the Provincial National Defense Council (PNDC) Law 81 – which established COCOBOD – to vest ministerial responsibility of the activities of the Board in the hands of the Minister of Food and Agriculture.
Regarding PNDC Law 81, the Minister of Trade and Industry exercises ministerial responsibility over COCOBOD, but government is of the view that it has become imperative to enable the Minister in charge of Agriculture exercise this function.
According to a report by the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, officials of COCOBOD had communicated to the Committee that the proposed change in ministerial responsibility under the law is to properly focus cocoa production as the foremost function of the Board.
“In view of the fact that cocoa production is under the remit of the agriculture sector, it is therefore imperative for the Minister responsible for Agriculture to have oversight responsibility over Ghana Cocoa Board and related matters pertaining to the production of cocoa as an agriculture product”, the Committee’s report added.
The Committee had insisted that the amendment was appropriate as it would enhance ministerial responsibility of COCOBOD.
The Bill was laid in parliament in 2018 and was subsequently referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for deliberation and consideration.