Producer price of cocoa increased

Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa farmers for Magnum Icecream in Assin Akonfudi, Ghana.

Government has increased the producer price of cocoa from 6,800 cedis per tonne to 7,600 cedis per tonne for the 2016/17 cocoa season.

This means every 64kg bag of cocoa beans will attract 475 cedis representing 77.45 percent increment.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Cassiel Ato Forson who announced this at this year’s Cocoa Day at Tepa in Ahafo Ano North District in Ashanti region, said the new price takes effect from today October 1, 2016.

The increment is expected to motivate farmers and other stakeholders to increase their production in 2016/2017 cocoa season.

A day has been set aside as Cocoa Day to celebrate and recognize the country’s hardworking cocoa farmers and also to promote consumption of cocoa products.

The cocoa industry remains the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy, having its footprints in every aspect of life in Ghana and in our national developmental effort.

Cocoa contributes significantly to foreign exchange earnings for the provision of infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads.

Last year, the average free-on-board (fob) per tonne of cocoa sold was 2,900 dollars and this year the average fob is 2,950 dollars per tonne.

In cedi terms, this represents a change of only 5.7 percent.

Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson said the change in producer price is higher than the percentage change in the world price of cocoa, and higher than the new producer price of Ivory Coast.

Licensed buying companies are to ensure that farmers are paid at the time of the sale of their produce, 475 cedis per bag of 64 kg gross weight, he emphasized.

He said the new price would also help to discourage the smuggling of the beans to neighboring Ivory Coast.

The chief executive officer of Ghana COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni, admitted that the global cocoa industry is confronted with challenges and Ghana’s cocoa industry is no exception.

The challenges confronting the cocoa industry in Ghana include declining soil fertility, ageing cocoa farmers, averaged cocoa farms, lack of interest by the youth to go into cocoa farming, climate change, cocoa swollen shoot virus, and galamsey  he said.

He however assured that COCOBOD will continue to support cocoa farmers to address these challenges, citing for instance the free fertilizer programme to improve upon soil fertility and free mass spraying programme.

By Benjamin Aidoo | | Ghana

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