The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of short-changing cocoa farmers by increasing the price of a bag of cocoa to GHC1,300.
According to the Minority caucus, cocoa farmers should have been given at least GHC2,500 per bag.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Eric Opoku, slammed the government for giving cocoa farmers “peanuts”.
He expressed worry over the price given to cocoa farmers, stressing that this season is a good year for cocoa farmers to benefit from their produce.
“We sell cocoa on the international market, so it is not the president who decides he will give cocoa farmers the prices he wants. His ability to determine the price depends on what prevails in the international market. If at any point in time, the market is favourable, cocoa farmers must also be given the opportunity to enjoy it. This is a good year for cocoa farmers all over the world. This year, cocoa prices have surged to historical heights. And so this is an opportunity for cocoa farmers to enjoy.
“Unfortunately, the government is giving them a price far below what is prevailing in the international market. And so some of us became worried. Why is it that we have this high price and then our cocoa farmers are being given just peanuts? This is not what is happening in the international market. Cocoa farmers should be given something close to GHC2,500 minus the premium. That is why we are saying this government is short-changing the cocoa farmers.”
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on Tuesday lashed out at former President John Dramani Mahama for criticizing the government’s decision to increase the price of cocoa.
In a statement, COCOBOD CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo said that Mahama should be familiar with the process for determining the producer price of cocoa.
The former president John Dramani Mahama described the government as “insensitive” to the plight of farmers, saying that the increase was not enough.
The government has defended its decision to increase the price of cocoa to GHC1,300, saying that it is based on a number of factors, including the international market price of cocoa, the cost of production, and the need to maintain a competitive advantage for Ghanaian cocoa.