The Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms (CCSR) has called on the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to peg cocoa prices against the dollar for farmers.
According to the group, the Board must work to ameliorate the economic conditions of cocoa farmers. It revealed that cocoa farmers are growing poorer and are now more vulnerable than ever before.
“In the face of depreciation of the cedi, now is the perfect time to call for cocoa prices to be pegged against the dollar and farmers paid in the cedi equivalent of the forex received from cocoa exports.”Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms
Contained in a press statement, the Coalition indicated that cocoa farmers deserve no less than 100% increase in farm gate price beginning the 2022/23 season. This, it explained, implies no less an amount than “GIV 21,120.00 per tonne or 1,320.00 per bag from the GII< 10,560 per tonne and GII< 660 per bag” respectively offered in the 2020/21 season.
“The Coalition of Cocoa Sector Reforms (CCRS) an advocate group for Ghana cocoa industry players, makes this proposal for the consideration and implementation by COCOBOD.”Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms
The Coalition noted that regulatory mismanagement and corruption continues unabated putting licensed buying companies into debt, “depreciation of the cedi, increasing inflation, activities of galamsey destroying water bodies, the degrading forest and arable lands among all the factors earlier enumerated worsens the economic and social well-being of farmers” and places the industry under serious threat.
Government urged to address concerns of farmers
The cocoa industry, the Coalition stated, is actually sinking at a faster speed. As a result, the cocoa farmer is “hungry” and there is the need for government to address these concerns.
“We call on civil society to come together to advocate for sustainable cocoa since the industry is under a more serious threat. Production volumes is on a sharp decline because there’s no incentive for the youth to go into cocoa farming and our forest continues to see serious degradation by galamsey activities. The industry we predict might not survive the next decade if swift interventions are not taken.”Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms
In October last year, government announced GHC660 as farm-gate price for a bag of 64kg of cocoa for the 2021/2022 crop season. Minister for Food and Agriculture and Chairman of the Producer Price Review Committee, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, stated that in spite of the fall in the world market price of cocoa, among other factors, such as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, government maintained the producer price at GHC10, 560.00 per tonne, representing 87.15 % of the FOB value, as a demonstration of its commitment towards improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
Mr Akoto noted that government is committed to sustaining the interest of cocoa farmers in the country to enable them produce more cocoa, enjoy remunerative incomes and improved well-being. He revealed that the implementation of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme would add up to the government’s efforts at ensuring improved livelihoods for Ghanaian cocoa farmers after retiring from active farming.
The Agric minister expressed that the introduction of the electronic weighing scales for the 2021/2022 crop year would help farmers to fully enjoy the benefits of their labour. He assured that the government would continue to support Cocoa farmers through the Board’s Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) to increase yields as it did for the 2020/2021 crop year.