The Former President of the Swiss Confederation and current Minister for Environment, Energy, Transport and Communication, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, has visited Yayra Glover Limited at Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana on Thursday, to inspect the Swiss-sponsored premier organic cocoa project in the country.
As a member of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS), Councillor Sommaruga was President of the Swiss Confederation in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
The visit forms part of the Councillor’s West African tour of Ghana and Senegal to inspect joint initiative projects designed to protect the climate and the environment
The Former Swiss President was accompanied by Mr. Philipp Stalder, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, and a delegation from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the federal government`s centre of excellence for issues relating to economic and labour market strategies.
Also present were Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of Ghana COCOBOD, Mr. Krishnakumar Pillai, Managing Director of Barry Callebaut, Mr. Daniel Nyarko from Nestle, Kevin Bosson from Lindt, and representatives from Agro Ecom and IDH.
On their arrival to Suhum, Mr. Yayrator Glover, the CEO of Yayra Glover Limited (YGL) and an expert in International Law, International Relations, and Political Philosophy, welcomed the delegation and took them on a tour of a model two-hectare hybrid cocoa farm for sustainable organic cocoa production.
During the farm visit, Mr. Glover briefed the delegation on his quest to promote sustainable agriculture after his education and return to Ghana 14 years ago.
He recounted that the organic cocoa initiative 14 years ago recruited and trained 5,000 organic cocoa farmers to produce chemical-residue-free organic cocoa aided by Market-Oriented Agricultural Advisory Services (MOAS).
He said the first phase of the organic cocoa project involved the training of organic cocoa farmers and the establishment of organic farms, which was completed. The economic cycle, he said, was closed with German chocolate maker, Fairfric establishing a cocoa processing plant on the company’s 100-acre Yayra Glover Circular Agro-Industrial Park at Amanase near Suhum as part of value addition and creation of sustainable jobs for the youth.
The second phase of the project, he said, is to organize organic cocoa farmers to cultivate selected organic food crops for processing into finished products at the Yayra Glover Foods and Beverages factory for local consumption and export.
He said machinery for the factory would be procured and installed by the end of this year to start production. That, he said, would create complementary income opportunities for organic cocoa farmers all year round.Speaking in German, Mr. Glover told the visiting Federal Councillor that, “We need no charity but chances”, adding that with the support of Switzerland he was happy to realize his dream of creating a circular agro-economy to improve the lives of the impoverished in rural communities. He said, “Whilst fighting poverty, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we should not lose sight of the proximate causes of economic migration of the African youths without skills risking their lives crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean to Europe where they are unwanted.
SECO and Yayra Glover Association of Switzerland supported the organic cocoa initiative that made cocoa farming attractive to young people in rural communities
Now, YGL has transformed into a Competent Centre of Excellence where Ph.D. students come to collect data for their thesis.
“We are training masons, plumbers, electricians, and engineers, at our Competent Centre of Excellence who would be engaged at our Circular Agro-Industrial Park rather than risking their lives to cross the Sahara and Mediterranean for greener pastures.”
Mr. Glover was grateful for Ambassador Stalder’s open-door policy for all Swiss-Ghanaian companies, whether small or big for equal opportunities.
Six companies, Yayra Glover Limited, Nestle, Barry Callebaut, Agro Ecom, Halba, and Lindt mounted stands at the cocoa warehouse of Yayra Glover Limited to showcase their projects on climate protection in regards to respect both human rights and nature.
Max Felchlin AG of Switzerland has been the main and most reliable off-taker of YGL’s organic cocoa since the inception of the organic cocoa project.
Yayra Glover Limited welcome Swiss companies that are willing to offset carbon footprints through our projects.
Switzerland is a global pioneer of climate protection. It has signed bilateral agreements with Ghana, Senegal, and Peru for carbon offsetting projects.
The Swiss intend to allocate CHF 65 million for economic development cooperation in Ghana from 2021 to 2024. Ghana is a SECO priority country for economic development cooperation.