Determining cocoa prices must be shared responsibility—Solomon Kotei
Cocoa price determination must be a shared responsibility between government and cocoa producers, Mr Solomon Kotei, General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), has said.
“It is fair, and in tune with natural justice, that the cocoa farmers, as the producers of the cocoa bean, are privy to how and why they are being paid the price they are receiving for their produce,” he stated.
Mr Kotei was speaking at the Cocoa Price Determination Mechanism symposium held in Accra yesterday, organised by the ICU in collaboration with Mondiaal FNV, an Australian based trade union.
The event was attended by some members of the ICU, Cocoa Coffee Shea Association (Cocoshe), as well as some stakeholders in the sector.
He noted that the World cocoa pricing had over the years been dictated by the buyer with little or no say from the producers.
This, he said had affected the livelihood of the cocoa farmers despite the major role they play in the cocoa value chain.
The General Secretary said even though the government had tried in its efforts to maintain the producer price of cocoa in the country, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had controlled the unjust situation for years.
According to him, the current efforts by the government and the cocoa administration to get the floor price of $2,600 per metric tonne would be a great motivation towards their cause if it succeeds.
Additionally, he noted that the strong collaboration between Ghana and Ivory-Coast targeted towards changing the cocoa pricing order would serve as a yardstick for other sectors in Africa to take up.
“Rubber, coffee, banana, gold, bauxite and timber coming from Africa will also begin to agitate for the price review,” he said.
He commended Ghana Cocoa Board for putting in place productivity improvement programmes like the cocoa mass spraying, artificial pollination of cocoa and subsidies on inputs for cocoa production, despite the World market price instability.
Mr Kotei indicated that the ICU was a prominent stakeholder in the cocoa industry, saying “we are poised to unravel the pricing of the cocoa bean and bring to the fore what goes in to the pricing and why the cocoa farmers are being paid the price they are receiving for a bag of cocoa.”
Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, National Chief Farmer cocoshe, said if the sector was the back bone of the economy then they as farmers deserved better.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE AND DEBORAH ASUMA