There are concerns mounting in the Nimba over the importation of cocoa, which the Liberia National Federation for Cooperative Society of the Cooperation Development Agency/CDA considers sub – standard regulates.
According to the CDA, the situation has the propensity to undermine Liberian farmers in terms of benefitting from the International Standard or good produce prices. The Deputy Secretary General, Joseph Wallace told the New Dawn in Ganta that most of the cocoa brought to Liberia from Ivory Coast were sub – standard
According to Mr. Wallace, the cooperative agency was responsible to manage cooperative societies, as well as help farmers prepare the quality of cocoa that will sale on the International market.
He noted that cocoa price on the World market was varying, depending on the quality. He added that at times cocoa price fluctuates between US$ 3000 and above, but Liberia was not receiving a stable price due to poor preparations of the produce by farmers.
Mr. Wallace’s concern came as a result of a huge quantity of cocoa, about 100 tons, believed to have come from the Ivory Coast entered Ganta for re-bagging. He described the cocoa as sub – standard, adding that the reason for the re – begging was to enable them sell the produce for good price.
According to our correspondent, two trucks bearing Ivorian license plates were seen parked, while some men were seem seriously re – begging the cocoa for loading.
“If the cocoa is mixed up with other commodities of Liberian origin, people will feel that the produce from Liberia, making Liberian cocoa sub-standard on the international market,” he added.
He noted that Guinea’s cocoa, for example, was degraded because sub – standard cocoa were bought from the Ivory Coast and re-bagged and sold just as what’s happening to Liberia’s.
When contacted, the owner of the alleged imported cocoa, Alieu Kabah admitted purchasing some of the cocoa from the Ivory Coast, adding that some were also bought in Liberia.
Mr. Kakah, who was said to be representing the interest of the “Brotherhood Agency” explained that he had been buying produce for some times now along the borders with Ivory Coast for his organization.
“I got most of these cocoa from Buutuo and Karnplay, and some from the Ivory Coast. It is good to be sold, and there’s nothing wrong with these cocoa,” he said.