BusinessNews

Gov’t Increases Cocoa Prices To ₵800

The government has increased the producer price of cocoa by 21 per cent.

This means that a bag of cocoa will be bought by the government at a price of GH¢800 now as against GH¢660 during the previous cocoa season.

The increase represents 89.99% of the net FOB value and will take effect from October 7, 2022.

This was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto at a press conference yesterday.

“We are pleased to announce that government has increased the producer price of cocoa by 21% from ¢10,560 per tonne to ¢12,800.00 per tonne. The producer price represents 89.99% of the net FOB value. This figure translates into ¢800 per bag of 64 kg. gross weight and takes effect from Friday, 7th October 2022”, he said.

The new price is beyond what was suggested by the Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) earlier this week.

It asked for a minimum of 15-20% increment in the farm gate price of cocoa for this season.

However, it falls below what the CSO believes cocoa farmers should receive per bag- GHc838.

The GCCP called on the government to increase the price of cocoa gate price to motivate farmers and commensurate with the work that is put in.

“We also want to take advantage of this opportunity to reflect on the emerging threats posed by mining (both illegal and in some situations legal) to the long-term survivability of the cocoa industry. The problem is very simple, cocoa farmers and landowners are giving away their lands to miners for one reason – money.

“They do not feel that their efforts and toils are properly and fairly being compensated hence the alternative (even if not the best of decisions) is to cash in and move out of the cocoa space. This is predominantly due to the uncompetitive cocoa prices on the international market which is reflected in the pockets of ordinary cocoa farmers in Ghana. The solution is to make the cocoa industry competitive by increasing the farm gate price to levels that are commensurate with the work farmers put into producing cocoa beans”, it said.

In an interaction with opemsuo.com, Prosper Mawuga, a cocoa farmer expressed his dissatisfaction with the new rate.

According to him, there was an agreement to have a uniform cocoa price with Ivory Coast, another giant in cocoa production, two years ago.

“I think last two years we entered an agreement with Ivory Coast to have a uniform price but now theirs is higher than ours”

Currently, Ivory Coast buys a bag of cocoa at a price of ¢858 according to JoyNews.

The aggrieved cocoa farmer added, “aside from that, in the run-up to the 2016 elections, Nana Addo said that cocoa prices should have been around 800cedis. But it has taken him more than 6 years to reach that price”.

“Additionally, cocoa farmers are expected to have a minimum of 70% of prices on the international market”, he said.

The 21% increment is “too small”, he said and added “but it is said {that} to have a loaf is better than none”.

Source: openmsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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