Presidential nominee for the Convention People’s Party, Ivor Greenstreet, says the new cocoa producer price announced by the government is inadequate, and falls short of the investment of the cocoa farmers in the country.
“The CPP is of the view that the producer price which has just been fixed at a paltry GHC 475 per a bag of 64 kg is grossly inadequate and on the low side,” he told a small farmer group at Dodowa Monday.
This was when he joined the farmer group to mark the International Cocoa Day observed on 1st October. He used the occasion to congratulate and salute the hardworking cocoa farmers in the country.
The flag-bearer said the poor cocoa farmers are “being shortchanged” by COCOBOD and other actors in the supply chain, noting it was unfortunate that “the Ghanaian cocoa farmer is taxed heavily through all sorts of deductions and levies on cocoa”.
Mr Greenstreet wondered why foreign companies enjoy tax holidays and breaks on their investment and income while the poor farmer invests a lot of capital and sweat equity in a cocoa farming enterprise and “gets a paltry return on his investment through low and taxable producer price”.
COCOBOD’s mandate in construction questioned
The flag-bearer also questioned the position of the Ghana COCOBOD in building and construction, which he said falls out of its core mandate, noting it has now become a jack of all trades and master of none.
“The constitution has created Ministries and Agencies such as Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Feeder Road, Ministry of Roads and Highways and so what locus has Cocoa Board, a cocoa sector agency have in building and constructing roads? What is behind this?,” he asked
He said although procurement of fertilizer is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture COCOBOD has taken over and doing it badly.
Mr Greenstreet said what the COCOBOD must do is to go into extension service and “stop meddling in provision of infrastructure
“It is their extension which enabled Ghana to produce 550,000 tonner in 1965, it took another 40 years or so to hit that mark and pass it albeit with a better and more extensive infrastructure than existed at that time,” he recalled.