NPP MPs claim 40 per cent of cocoa smuggled to Cote d’Ivoire

The Minority in Parliament is claiming more than 40 per cent of Ghana’s cocoa is smuggled to Ivory Coast for higher prices.

Ghana’s producer price of cocoa is about GH¢212 and there are calls to increase it to GH¢480 per bag.

The Ghana COCOBOD has said it is securing a loan facility to increase the producer price soon.

The minority visited some cocoa farms in the Western region Tuesday, to interact with farmers on their challenges in the industry.

A former Health Minister under Kufuor’s administration, Dr. Kwaku Owusu Afriyie, who is a farmer too, noted the criminal activity of smuggling cocoa to neighboring Cote d’Ivoire was done in the open without any regard for security personnel.

But was quick to explain that “I haven’t caught any military personnel or any regulatory person; any enforcer smuggling cocoa.”

However, he said some security personnel stationed at the border posts have been compromised and therefore, were unable to effect arrests of such miscreants.

Meanwhile, the Minority Spokesperson for Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto is demanding an immediate review of the producer price of cocoa to GH¢480 per bag.

Dr. Akoto told Joy FM’s Elton Brobbey the international media had reported that about 40,000 out of Ghana’s estimated 120,000 metric tonnes of cocoa have been smuggled to Cote d’Ivoire.

Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Noah Amenya also told Joy News there have been plans to increase the producer price.

Although he did not mention how much the increment would be, he said the producer price review committee was working hard at it.

He said it is wrong for some farmers to give the committee a one-week ultimatum.

“That one cannot work because they cannot force the producer price review committee to do some shoddy work. They are taking their time and COCOBOD needs to secure whatever money is required in order to pay the producer price.”

The COCOBOD is expecting some loan facility to enable it increase the producer price, urging farmers to exercise restraint on their request for a price review.

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