Cocoa Farmers Unhappy With 11.8% Increase

Some cocoa farmers in the country have expressed disappointment in government for increasing the producer price of cocoa by 11.8 percent.

The farmers said the increase in the producer price of cocoa cannot offset the cost of production.

Government, over the weekend, increased producer price of cocoa by 11.76 percent to GH¢7,600 per metric tonne for the 2016/2017 season.

The new price took effect from October 1, 2016, the beginning of the 2016/2017 main cocoa crop year.
Some of the farmers, who spoke to BUSINESS GUIDE said, “We had high expectations for the upward adjustment between the region of GH¢500 and GH¢600 per bag of 64 kilograms. This 11.8 percent increase can’t cover our input cost.”

Cassiel Ato-Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, who announced the increase at this year’s International Cocoa Day celebration at Tepa, capital of Ahafo-Ano North District of the Ashanti Region said, “This year’s price represented the highest cocoa prices to farmers in the history of Ghana, cocoa prices moved from GH¢620 in 2001/2002 crop season to GH¢1,632 in 2008/2009 season.”
According to him, farmers would now receive GH¢475 for a bag of 64kg of cocoa, up from GH¢425 per bag for the last cocoa season.

Mr Ato-Forson explained that in arriving at the new price, the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) was guided by the current average Free-on-Board (FOB) per tonne of cocoa price of $2,950 at the world market, representing 5.7 percent upward adjustment from $2,900.

He called on the Licensing Buying Companies to ensure that farmers are paid the new rate on the gross weight.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Tepa-Ash