Cocoa employs approximately 800,000 farm families, spread over six of the ten regions of Ghana. The crop generates about 1 billion US dollars in foreign exchange annually, representing about 30% of export earnings. Cocoa production and marketing is also a major contributor to government revenue and to GDP (6.5% in 2009). Cocoa products like chocolate and cocoa powder feature prominently on the menu in many homes, restaurants and hotels. The processing of cocoa into various products also creates jobs for thousands of Ghanaians and there is a growing belief in the health benefits of cocoa.
The Ghana government has therefore embarked on a vigorous campaign in various forms to ensure a healthy workforce by promoting the consumption of cocoa and its derivative products, thereby creating ancillary jobs. As in neighbouring countries, Ghanaian cocoa is attacked with Black Pod, mirids and other pests. In response, the Ghanaian government, through the Ghana Cocoa Board, regularly organized a centrally-co-ordinated nationwide spraying programme thus enabling recommendations for improvement to be implemented rapidly on a large scale.
Maintaining its reputation for high quality cocoa is of paramount importance to the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Quality Control Company Ltd (QCCL) has been designated to implement SPS-related projects.