Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO, COCOBOD

Ahead of the much-awaited announcement of the new producer price of cocoa for the upcoming crop season, farmers from across the country have been sharing their hope and expectations of some increases in the current price.

The general feeling of optimism which is present in the sentiments expressed by many of the farmers seem to have been informed by their appreciation of the assistance they have received from the government over the past few years and the impact of the initiatives introduced by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to enhance their productivity and earnings.

A cocoa farmer from Bronsanko in the Ahafo Region, Kwabena Boateng, said, “the government has been very helpful to us cocoa farmers. We receive help by way of subsidised fertilisers, mass spraying, pruning and hand pollination to increase our farm yields and our earnings from our harvest.”

He was speaking at the ongoing farming products exhibition at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani. The exhibition is part of series of events organised for this year’s Cocoa Day celebration.

Mr Boateng added that although he was aware of the challenges that the unfavourable international price of cocoa poses to the government, he still expects some marginal increase in the domestic price.

“We do know that the price of cocoa on the world market has been going down for a while, and that creates difficulties for the government. So, on Tuesday when the government opens the next cocoa season, we do not expect that the new producer price will go up by a lot, however, if it moves from the current GH₵ 475.00 to about GH₵ 500.00 for us, we will be very grateful and we will be very happy with that,“ he appealed.

Mr Boateng’s words were echoed in the sentiments expressed by Ama Ghana, a cocoa farmer from Bechem in the Bono Region, who said “when I look at what the government has done for us farmers, I find it very satisfactory. Our farms were pollinated and pruned, and we got fertilisers at low prices. We appreciate all of that. So, on Tuesday even if we are given a price of GH₵500, we will be appreciative of that as well because a lot has been done already for us farmers.”

Cocoa Day is an annual event organised by COCOBOD to celebrate the hard work of cocoa farmers, create awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa and promote its consumption among Ghanaians.

This year’s celebration focuses on Sustainable Cocoa Production for Health and Wealth. It began on Saturday 28th September.

The grand durbar, where the producer price of cocoa for the 2019/2020 crop season will be announced by H.E. President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo is on Tuesday 1st October 2019.

The producer price of cocoa is a critical item which has a ripple effect on all the other aspects of the cocoa industry. The government has maintained the same producer price over the past two years, resisting international pressure to reduce the price in response to the fall in the world market price of cocoa. Instead, through a joint effort with Côte d’Ivoire, the government has negotiated and achieved a new price mechanism for the sale of cocoa, which carries a Living Income Differential (LID) of USD400 per ton of cocoa beans.

The LID provides a buffer against the shocks associated with significant drops in the world market price of cocoa. It also provides certainty and reliability to the income streams of cocoa farmers.

Although the new price mechanism takes effect from the 2020/2021 crop season the government has sent some signals of a possible favourable change in the producer price for the upcoming crop season to bring some smiles to cocoa farmers.

In an interaction with farmers at a rally in August, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo said, he was expecting to hear “good news” from the Producer Price Review Committee; the body responsible for setting the producer price for each season.

Source: Adom News