Barring any last minute changes, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today announce a new producer price of cocoa for the upcoming crop season.
Ahead of the big day today, farmers from across the country have been sharing their hope and expectations of some increase in the current price and ABC News has learnt that certain unlike the two previous seasons where the price stagnated, they would be an upward review today.
There is also a general feeling of optimism which is present in the sentiments expressed by many of the farmers.
Most of the Cocoa farmers who spoke to this paper appreciate the assistance they have received from the government over the past few years and the impact of the initiatives introduced by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to enhance their productivity and earnings.
Among the support they have been receiving from the government, according to the farmers are, mass spraying, pruning and hand pollination which all combine to increase their yields. and our earnings
At the ongoing Farming Products Exhibition at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani, the Bono Regional capital, most of the farmers said it they would be content if the new price was pegged at Gh500 per cocoa bag.
“The COCOBOD people have told us about the world market price so we can’t really demand much but Ghc500 won’t be a bad bargain”
The exhibition is part of a series of events organised for this year’s Cocoa Day celebration.
It would be recalled that in an interaction with farmers at a rally in August this year, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said, he was expecting to hear “good news” from the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC); the body responsible for setting the producer price for each season.
Another farmer Kwabena Boateng disclosed that although he was aware of the challenges that the unfavourable international price of cocoa poses to the government, he still expected some marginal increase in the domestic price.
“We do know that the price of cocoa on the world market has been going down for a while, and that creates difficulties for the government. So, on Tuesday(today) when the government opens the next cocoa season, we do not expect that the new producer price will go up by a lot, however, if it moves from the current GH₵ 475.00 to about GH₵ 500.00 for us, we will be very grateful and we will be very happy with that,“ he appealed
Cocoa Day is an annual event which is organized by COCOBOD to celebrate the hard work of cocoa farmers, create awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa and promote its consumption among Ghanaians. This year’s celebration focuses on Sustainable Cocoa Production for Health and Wealth. It began on Saturday 28th September.
The grand durbar, is today Tuesday where the producer price of cocoa for the 2019/2020 crop season will be announced by President President Akufo-Addo.
The producer price of cocoa is a critical item which has a ripple effect on all the other aspects of the cocoa industry. The government has maintained the same producer price over the past two years, resisting international pressure to reduce the price in response to the fall in the world market price of cocoa.
Instead, through a joint effort with Côte d’Ivoire, the government has negotiated and achieved a new price mechanism for the sale of cocoa, which carries a Living Income Differential (LID) of USD400 per ton of cocoa beans. The LID provides a buffer against the shocks associated with significant drops in the world market price of cocoa.
It also provides certainty and reliability to the income streams of cocoa farmers.
Although the new price mechanism takes effect from the 2020/2021 crop season the government has sent some signals of a possible favourable change in the producer price for the upcoming crop season to bring some smiles to cocoa farmers.
Source: ABC Newspaper