The Minority in Parliament says current policies and interventions put in place to manage Ghana’s cocoa sector are not making any gains.
The Minority Spokesperson on Agric, Eric Opoku who referenced the current producer price of cocoa explained that the current government’s interventions have worsened the plight of cocoa farmers.
At a forum in Accra, Eric Opoku who doubles as Member of Parliament accused the current administration of prioritizing increasing administrative cost of COCOBOD to the detriment of cocoa farmers.
“The producer price index of cocoa in the last 20 years in Ghana is a clear testament of President’s Mahama’s superior record in the promotion of the welfare of cocoa farmers. At the time President Mahama was leaving office, a bag of cocoa was being purchased at GHS 475 indicating that over the four year period, President Mahama added GHS 263 to a bag of cocoa.
“In 2017, Nana Addo took the mantle, up to the end of 2019 the price is GHS 515, indicating that, over the three years, Nana Akufo-Addo has added GHS 40 to the price of cocoa. It is sad to note that, rather than increasing the producer price of cocoa and promote the welfare of cocoa farmers, the Akufo-Addo government has increased office expenditure at COCOBOD head office to the detriment of the hardworking cocoa farmers in the country. Indeed, cocoa farmers are suffocating.”
In the past, President Akufo-Addo had criticized Mr. Mahama for overseeing what he called zero progress in the cocoa sector.
But Mr. Opoku said the president rather needed to admit he had “failed cocoa farmers in Ghana.”
Mr. Opoku has said the government’s decision to stop the supply of free fertilizers to cocoa farmers was worrying.
This is not the first time, the Minority is accusing President Akufo-Addo of having a “lack of sympathy for the plight of the poor cocoa farmer.”
Drop in cocoa prices will not affect Ghana – COCOBOD
Management of Ghana Cocoa Board has assured that it will implement effective measures to ensure that its revenue from the sale of cocoa is not affected by the recent drop in cocoa prices on the international market.
According to the Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Noah Amenyah, the company is implementing a number of strategies such as slowing down the sale of cocoa when prices tumble.
The price of Cocoa according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has dropped by about 18 percent in the last 6 weeks from over US 2,700 Dollars on May 1, 2018, to over US 2,300 Dollars as at June 11, 2018.
Mr. Amenyah said COCOBOD is committed to ensuring that revenue from Cocoa is sustained to support the government’s revenue mobilization agenda.
“We have seen the price of Cocoa go very low. We have also recently seen the price pick up. So we are still watching the trend. Generally, the trend is upward compared to previous years. This means that we will have a better income than in previous years. So there is no need to panic.”
Mr. Amenyah assured that COCOBOD was employing tested strategies like “Forward selling and Spot Selling” to maximize earnings from the commodity.