Business News of Friday, 5 January 2018
The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) has opposed suggestions that government reviews downwards the producer price for cocoa to offset any drop in revenue from the cash crop.
GAWU fears any such move will have dire implications for the cocoa sector and distort economic plans for the year.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned Ghana against a further drop in the price of cocoa on the international market.
The EIU also wants the country to guard itself from potential smuggling of cocoa from neighbouring Ivory Coast due to a favourable price for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Some have viewed such reasons as basis to reduce the producer price for cocoa from the current 7,600 cedis.
But the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh explains to Citi Business News yielding to the appeal will be unfortunate for the cocoa subsector.
“It will be disastrous for government to attempt to make a review this time…we should wait till the end of the year and if things have not changed, then in that case government can come with the facts to the table and what is happening at the global level.”
Mr. Kareweh added, “Then the farmers including all stakeholders will see the reality and I think that they will reason with the government and come out with a decision that will be in the best interest of the farmers and the country and I think it will be acceptable to the farmers themselves and the stakeholders.”
According to the EIU, cocoa production may drop due to challenges associated with old cocoa trees in the country.
Meanwhile COCOBOD is targeting about 700,000 tonnes of cocoa production in the 2017/2018 season.
The price of cocoa has dropped sharply from 3000 dollars per tonne to about 1900 dollars by the end of 2017.
Also, Ghana is said to be losing at least 1 billion dollars every year as a result of the declining prices of cocoa on the international market.
In all these however, the GAWU General Secretary maintains government’s efforts must be lauded to cushion farmers from global trade imbalances.
“For now I think the government has done enough to insulate the farmers from the global declining prices…I think that we should encourage government to do things like these and not subject our producers and Ghanaians to the dictates of the global market and trading system,” he argued.