Business News of Thursday, 5 December 2019
A report by policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has suggested that a high percentage of farmers in the country’s cocoa industry believe that government-controlled Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) does not serve their interest, ABC News can report.
According to the report conducted on the theme: “Exploring the revenue management and producer pricing mechanism within Ghana’s Cocoa sector”, majority of cocoa farmers are not satisfied with the current cocoa producer price which is part of the responsibilities of the cocoa agency.
COCOBOD has over the years been the agency responsible for fixing the cocoa buying price in Ghana which is intended to protect farmers from the volatile prices on the world market.
But the report from the Policy group asserts that “Results from the farmers’ survey revealed that 94 percent of farmers are dissatisfied with the current producer price, 70 percent indicate they do not know COCOSHE and 70 percent believe that COCOBOD does not serve their interest.”
The report, which aimed among others, to examine the connection between cocoa prices and production in Ghana as well as to understand the current cocoa pricing mechanism, however, noted that farmers place much importance on the role COCOBOD plays as a regulator in the industry.
“It is equally important to note that, regardless of the sentiments expressed by the farmers regarding the protection of their interest by COCOBOD, they are equally of the view that, COCOBOD plays a significant role in the industry, and will want the regulator to continue in this capacity” the report stated.
In order to change the perception of farmers about the industry regulator, IMANI Africa suggested that “there is a need for more farmer engagement on policy decision making and implementation.”
Contrary to some conventional thoughts that the world cocoa price drives production, the study also revealed that the cocoa producer price rather causes an increase in production.
They, therefore advised that Government should direct policies at “increasing the compensation that farmers receive.”