Cocoa Farmers deserve to enjoy fruits of their labour

Cocoa farmers in the country must be the happiest group of people in the country today for two main reasons.

Last week, the governments made two major announcements that must gladden the hearts of many of the farmers whose toils have been the mainstay of the country’s economy.

The first announcement was that the government was rolling out the much-awaited Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme this month.

The announcement made by the Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Mr Peter Mac Manu, said the trustees and implementers of the scheme would be moving from district to district to register cocoa farmers onto the scheme to enable them to enjoy the full benefit of their pensions.

Speaking at this year’s Cocoa Day grand durbar which also coincided with the COCOBOD’s 75th anniversary at Suhum in the Eastern Region, he said that, though previous years had been challenging globally for the cocoa sector, Ghana COCOBOD had not relented on its effort to push for policies that enhanced the welfare of cocoa farmers, assuring it would continue to be innovative and be pragmatic in the midst of the challenges facing them.

He pointed out further that it had been three years since the implementation of the living income inferential, a pricing mechanism spearheaded by Ghana and Ivory Coast to secure a $400 premium on every tonne of cocoa sold to be paid directly to the cocoa farmers.

He noted, however, that unfavorable market prices as well as deliberate attempts by buyers, among others, had undermined the initiative which sought to guarantee a decent income for farmers.

In fulfilment of that goal, the government on Wednesday, pegged the producer price for cocoa at GH¢800 per bag of 64kg.

The new price which took effect from Friday, October 7, 2022, for the 2022-2023 crop season, represents a 21 per cent increase from GH¢10,560 per tonne to GH¢12,800 per tonne.

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto made the announcement at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

“The 21 per cent rise in the producer price of cocoa is a testament to the government’s resolve to ensure farmers earn a decent income and make cocoa farming lucrative. The government will continue to implement initiatives to build a robust, resilient and sustainable cocoa industry where cocoa farmers and their communities will thrive”, the minister was quoted as saying.

The Ghanaian Times applauds the government and the sector Minister for implementing policies that directly go to benefit cocoa famers in the country. We are all well aware of the challenges farmers, especially cocoa farmers are facing especially from the threats by the ‘galamsey’ menace.

We cannot afford to lose our cocoa farms to illegal mining knowing too well the socio-economic consequencies for our country.

We have seen the devastation taking place and in some cases on cocoa plantations and want to appeal to all those involved to halt the illegal mining in those area,

We are sure that these two announcements would be a morale booster for our farmers. We need our cocoa farms and we need farmers to continue to produce the cocoa for the benefit of all Ghanaians. While we applaud the government for seeking their welfare we also call for the protection of the farms from destruction. That is the only way they can truly benefit from the policies and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

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