Cocobod CEO upbeat about cocoa roads projects

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Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has expressed optimism that the rehabilitation and completion of cocoa roads in cocoa-growing areas in the country will improve the haulage of cocoa beans significantly.

He explained that the deplorable nature of roads to the country’s major cocoa-growing areas make it difficult to cart cocoa beans “therefore once they are rehabilitated, hauling cocoa beans will be easier”.

“Therefore government is determined to open up these areas with roads, grow the cocoa economy and improve rural development. Once the roads are motorable, it will also encourage other investment interests as well.”

Joseph Boahen expressed the optimism after he had inspected the progress of work on the 38-kilometre Benchemaa to Adjoafua asphalt trunk road.

The road project being constructed by Armandi Group costs $43.3 million and it is under the Cocoa Road Rehabilitation Project.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo recounted stories of how drivers hauling cocoa beans and other motorists will have to struggle to traverse the Asempaneye scarp, noting that “many of them become disillusioned anytime they had to travel that scarp”.

“This scarp leads to very critical cocoa growing communities. Ghana derives significant tonnes of cocoa beans from here. But this scarp was a big problem. It’s a long serpentine road to traverse. So the cocoa drivers will have to climb at a snail pace. Unfortunately, while at it, some bad boys will jump on the trailer and be picking the cocoa beans. And before the driver will realise, a good number of the bags will be gone. This is going to be a thing of the past”.

He shared a personal experience where on a visit, his team could not climb the scarp and had to make a detour through Bonso Nkwanta before they could get to Sefwi Bekwai.

“We got to Sefwi Wiawso at midnight. So now all the drivers who hitherto had to avoid the scarp will no longer do so because the road before and after the scarp and all the way to the Benchema barrier is in a good shape. What it means also is that the travelling distance has been greatly reduced.”

The CEO and his team also inspected progress of work on a bridge on the same road and commended Armandi Group for work done so far, saying: “I’m impressed with the modifications because the old bridge was narrow and did not allow for smooth passage.”

Project Manager for Armandi Group David Mertz assured that his team is committed to delivering a world class project that will be able to stand the test of time.

By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana

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