The Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) must take into consideration the current macroeconomic challenges in setting the price of cocoa for this year.
“The cost of rehabilitating diseases and unproductive cocoa farms, among others, come at a huge cost to the industry but we believe that in determining the price of cocoa for this year, the PPRC will be mindful of the inflationary rate in the country, the cost of inputs and services as well as the exchange rate,” the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (COCOSHE), has said.
Addressing a press conference in collaboration with the Past Cocoa Farmer Award Winners ahead of the determination of cocoa farm gate price for this year and on issues of galamsey affecting the cocoa industry, the Spokesperson of COCOSHE, Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan, urged COCOBOD to devise to introduce measures to improve the incomes of cocoa farmers.
“The price of cocoa on the world market has not improved in recent years and that clearly has negative effect on our inflows, as a country, from the sale of our cocoa. We, however, expect the COCOBOD to devise different means of improving our incomes as the terminal price has failed to provide us with a decent income,” he said.
He mentioned some as Pension for Cocoa Farmers, Housing Schemes for Cocoa Farmers.
He alleged that some calculation’s being put out by some group in the cocoa industry on the farm gate price of cocoa were not correct, adding that “To suggest that the entire revenue from the terminal market must be paid to farmers betrays one’s lack of understanding of the industry.”
“It is worthy to note that some of the calculations and farm gate prices put out by these persons clearly demonstrate that they do not have a full appreciation of how farmers’ margin is determined,” the COCOSHE, Spokesperson, said.
Alhaji Alhassan said the producer price was determined by PPRC taking into consideration factors such as achieved Free-On-Board after taking into consideration all industry cost such as the Licensed Buying Companies margin, hauliers’ margin, cost of handling and warehousing.
He commended COCOBOD for the Productivity Enhancement Programme such as hand pollination, the nationwide mass pruning exercise as well as the supply of subsidised fertilisers and pesticides for cocoa farmers in the country.
“We also look forward to the expansion of the cocoa farm irrigation project which is currently being piloted on some farms,” the Spokesperson, said.
On the Living Income Differential (LID) where Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have pushed for addition for farmers from the world cocoa buyers, Alhaji Alhassan, said “While we acknowledge that the Living Income Differential has made some gains as a mechanism to improve cocoa farmers’ incomes, statements from COCOBOD and its partner organisation in Cote d’Ivoire, Le Conseil Café Cacao clearly point to the fact that the pricing mechanism has not yielded its full potential. We wish to see more work being done to fully achieve the deliverables of the LID.”
“We assure our fellow farmers that we shall continue to push for their interest in the ongoing PPRC engagements, however, we plead for patience to be exercised and not give room for persons who seek their personal interest to push us to engage in activities that will destroy our industry,” the spokesperson, assured.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE