Liberia: Absolutely No Group or Organization Responsible to Set The Prices of Cocoa
NIMBA COUNTY – The Administration of the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority (LACRA) has warned that there is absolutely no group or organization responsible to set the prices of cocoa and coffee or any other agriculture commodity on the Liberian market except LACRA.
This clarification is due to a recent statement from an “illegitimate group” under the banner Liberia Cocoa and Coffee Exporters Association who he claimed are misinforming the public about setting the price of a metric ton of cocoa on the Liberian market.
“We see such action on the part of this illegitimate group as a complete disrespect to the authority and function of the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority and therefore call on the group headed by one Sheik Abu Turay to immediately withdraw the statement or face serious consequences.
“We also want to advise the public not to do business with this group or any of its members as doing so is at your own risk. Finally, we want to reiterate that the buying price of cocoa in Liberia still remains until further notice. We call on the public to take note and act accordingly.”
Improving quality control
In another development, in an effort to improve the quality of cocoa in Liberia, the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority concluded a three day quality control training workshop for eight of its quality control officers.
The quality control officers were being trained in harvest and post-harvest management practices, fermentation of cocoa beans, drying of cocoa beans among others. The eight quality control officers will be assigned in Nimba and Lofa Counties as part of an IFAD project to improve the quality of cocoa in Liberia.
IFAD is the International Fund for Agriculture Development. The organization through the Ministry of Agriculture is currently partnering with LACRA to ensure cocoa beans beginning from the farm gate is of quality before export.
Speaking at the training, the Director General of the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority and Chief Executive Officer Dr. John S. Flomo Jr. encouraged the quality control officers to take advantage of the workshop something he said will improve the work of LACRA to a larger extend.
Dr. Flomo noted “Cocoa has money, but it is a dedicate crop that needs more attention to ensure it has best quality to for export.”
According to Dr. Flomo Liberia has a very good soil for development; “I encourage all actors in the cocoa sector that are doing cocoa business to keep it dedicate and pay keen attention to it.
He furthered noted that Liberia can be compare other African Countries that are earning more funding from the Cocoa sale. “We can do the same depending on how we treat our cocoa.”
The workshop is was facilitated by a cocoa expert Suleiman V. Kamara Chief Executive Officer of Vademco a local cocoa exporting company in Liberia.
At the end of the workshop, participants thank LACRA for the training opportunity which they believed will help them in their work to ensure quality cocoa leaves Liberia. “We believe the workshop was an eye opener which will help us greatly” said Raymond Roberts one of the trained quality control staff.
Other partners that attended the workshop include Solidaridad, GROW, amongst others.