President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday, announced GH¢1,308 the new producer price per bag of cocoa at an event in Tepa, in the Ashanti Region.

Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo stated that, until recently, international prices of cocoa had remained very low, and made worse by COVID-19.

He added that, in spite of this, COCOBOD and government have been taking the very hard decision of increasing the producer price of cocoa.

“Cocoa prices have increased from GH¢7,600 per tonne in 2016, to GH¢12,800 per tonne in 2022, a significant increase of sixty-eight per cent (68%). This has had an adverse impact on COCOBOD’s financial performance,” he said.

Acknowledging that the sustainability of the entire cocoa industry hinges on a well-remunerated producer, who is willing to invest in business only with the certainty that government will pay the appropriate price, the President stated that government, in keeping with its promise to cocoa farmers has increased the producer price.

According to President Akufo-Addo, government has “increased cocoa prices from GH¢12,800 per ton to GH¢20,943 per ton, or GH¢1,308 per bag.

"That price is seventy-point-five percent (70.5%) of the Gross FoB price, and is equivalent to $1,821 per ton.”

This, the President indicated,” is the highest price to be paid to cocoa farmers across West Africa in some 50 years.

With the predicted stable prices above the $2,600 threshold, government will continue to honour our farmers with good prices in the years ahead. Indeed, better days are ahead.”

Unprecedented Transformation
Describing the cocoa landscape as witnessing an unprecedented transformation under his government, President Akufo-Addo noted that the productivity enhancement programmes being implemented by COCOBOD are having a positive impact on productivity, incomes and climate resilience.

COCOBOD, the President said, continues to undertake the rehabilitation of diseased farms free of charge through the programme, explaining that the programme entails a one-off payment of compensation to both the land owner and the tenant farmer and involves cutting, treatment and replanting of the affected farm, and the maintenance of the farm for a period of two years before it is handed over to the farmer.

“In addition to the payment of compensation of GH¢1000 per hectare, paid separately to both land owner and tenant, COCOBOD bears the entire cost of the cutting, treating, replanting and maintenance for two years before it is handed over to the farmer.

"Compensation paid to both landlords and farmers stands at GH¢112,686,040 as of September 2022,” he said.

COCOBOD, the President noted, has also rolled out a Contributory Scheme, under the new Three-Tier Pension Scheme for cocoa farmers. Enrolment has started and will continue, and will, thus, make way for contributions from farmers and COCOBOD in the coming season.

COCOBOD, he said, is expected to contribute some GH¢74.5million to the fund this year.

“The Scheme will enable cocoa farmers also to save towards their retirement, so as to guarantee income security, improved living standards in their old age, and motivate the youth to venture into cocoa farming,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “This is the first successful attempt to give effect to section 26(1) of the Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984, PNDCL 84, which provides for the setting up of the Scheme.

"This has been made possible because of the implementation of the cocoa management system, which has provided the needed data and digital foundation for the Scheme to be successful.”

Co-operation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, in the cocoa industry, he stated, has already yielded good results for the industry, following the adoption and implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).

“The LID is an additional amount of four hundred United States dollars ($400) per ton on the price of cocoa, paid on every ton of cocoa purchased from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The LID is paid fully to the farmers, as a cushion to adverse effects of low international prices of cocoa.

"The LID has increased the average farmers’ income by $700 per ton. It is the first successful attempt by producer countries to influence the incomes of cocoa farmers through an international pricing mechanism,” he added.

Government, the President stated, has also rolled out a digitisation programme to digitize all operations of the sector, enhance traceability and efficient management of the domestic supply chain, through a comprehensive, integrated digital database that captures farm and farmer information, including the physical conditions of farms and farmer household characteristics.

Under the industrialisation drive, he indicated that “value addition in the cocoa industry has increased significantly, from 30% of annual output in 2016 to 48% in 2022. The target of processing 50% of the production locally is within immediate reach.”

He continued, “The promotion of domestic consumption is also beginning to yield results. Domestic enterprises have emerged strongly under the 1D1F initiative for the processing and manufacturing of various cocoa-based products across the Districts.

"COCOBOD has taken a giant step to support small-scale and artisanal chocolate manufacturing with business-friendly guidelines that provide access to premium Ghanaian beans, even at the district level.”

Through these innovations, President Akufo-Addo noted that some 130,000 jobs have been created, reiterating that “Government will, through COCOBOD, continue to adopt innovations aimed at improving the welfare of the Ghanaian farmer through the implementation of productivity enhancement programmes and remunerative producer pricing.”

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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