Cocoa farmers in the Western North Region are excited about the increment of producer price of cocoa from ¢514 per bag to ¢660 for the 2020/21 season.

The farmers say the 28 per cent increase is an unprecedented intervention by the government.

President Akuffo Addo who announced the new price at Sefwi-Wiawso on Thursday said the increment is to reward cocoa farmers for their contribution to Ghana’s economy over the years.

He reiterated government’s commitment to ensure the industry receives the needed attention, obtains its fair share of the national cake.

“By this substantial increase in the producer price we are also delivering on our 2016 manifesto promise to reward handsome the hard work of our cocoa farmers, and their contribution to Ghana’s economy over the decade.”

This price increase means that the price for a tonne of cocoa has increased ¢8,240 to ¢10,560.

The increment represents more than 28% from 8.42% in 2019/2020 season.

President Akufo-Addo stated that the increase will take effect on Thursday, October 1.

“Let me thank all stakeholders for their contribution, for the sustenance of the cocoa industry.”

The farmers expressed their joy and hailed the ruling government for its monumental intervention.

Just after the President announced the new price for 2020/21 season, the farmers jumped into wild jubilation over the good news.

“It has never happened before, for a government to increase cocoa producer price from ¢514 to ¢660. Nana Addo has really helped us; having supplied us with chemicals and fertilizers to improve our yield and doubling that kind gesture with an increased price,” one of the cocoa farmers told JoyNews.

“We are praying that he will continue his reign. We thank him, he has done well.”

For them, cocoa cultivation is their only livelihood, therefore, any government that thinks about their welfare would not be let down.

“We are going to offer support to Nana Addo and Dr Afriyie to continue the good works for Sefwi,” he said.

President Nana Akuffo says his government would continue to put a premium on Ghanaian farmers.

The President also highlighted some Ghana COCOBOD interventions to increase yield and enhance farmers’ income.

He said the compensation based approach is to help farmers cope with loss in income during replanting phase of diseased cocoa trees.

According to him, Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) is a major limiting factor to cocoa production in the country describing as a national disaster.

But said his government is not relenting on its quest to give cocoa the boost it deserves.

Ghana and Ivory Coast in August 2018 took a major decision to tackle the spread of CSSVD with the joint launch of a control programme at Pillar 34, in Bia West District of Western North region.

A back-to-back approach was adopted to rehabilitate hectares of disease farms in both countries.

In the Western North region alone, 214,500 hectares of diseased farms out of 315, 899 have been earmarked for treatment.

The next phase of the programme will rehabilitate 156, 400 hectares of diseased and moribund cocoa farms nationwide.