The deputy minister of agriculture William Agyapong Quaittoo has hinted of government’s plan to agree with neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire on fixing cocoa price at the international market.
The move he said would ensure that cocoa farmers in the two countries get value for their work.
Mr. Quaittoo made the statement at Akim Oda when Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Company presented a cheque for 2,338,976 cedis to Cocoa Horizons Farmers in Ghana.
The regular premium paid to farmers by one of Ghana’s leading cocoa buying companies is to assist them (farmers) finance their farming activities.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture praised cocoa farmers for their role in economic growth. He said the current administration is committed to boosting the cocoa sector.
He urged cocoa farmers to allay any fears of price fluctuations from the international market where price index would possibly drop because of the forces of demand and supply.
According to the minister, even in the worst case scenario, the government of Ghana would do everything possible to influence the price control mechanism.
“Currently we are price takers, which is bad. Cote d’Ivoire has agreed with us to determine the quantity of cocoa to be put in the international market. This means that we would need large warehouses to keep excess.”
Mr. Quaittoo said measures are being put in place to make use of the defunct silos at Tema.
“We have asked some consultant to check for us to see if [the cocoa the silos that Dr. Nkrumah built at Tema] can be salvaged and the answer is yes. We are looking for money to put those silos back in shape to store excess,” he stated.
In furtherance to that, the deputy minister also said government is instituting measures to provide solar panels to enable farmers in areas which are not connected to the national grid have excess to energy for irrigation.
Head of Sustainability at Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Company, Robert Asugre said his company is committed to complementing government vision of producing one thousand tonnes of cocoa per annum.
Over 48000 cocoa farmers in the country are to receive premiums regularly to finance their farms and also get maximum returns after harvest. “Nyonkopa cocoa variety is a sustainable program for cocoa farmers and we are supporting farmers to meet government’s one million tonnes of cocoa every year” he said.
He said it is the vision of Nyonkopa to assist farmers improve yields and sustain it by the year 2025.
By William Evans-Nkum |TV3|3news.com