Addressing the press, Mr. Usman revealed that, before the 2017/2018 crop season, farmers were paid 70% of the Net Free on-Board (FoB) Price. Currently, the government through the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) is paying 75% of net FoB price to the cocoa farmers.
He further explained that, the hailing of the government not only for increasing the percentage (75%) paid to the farmers but for also increasing the 2019/2020 producer price by more than 8% when conditions on the international market proved otherwise.
‘’We want to thank the current National Best Farmer, Mr. James Obeng Boateng and the rest of PPRC members for recognising the need to improve upon the standard of living condition of Cocoa Farmers through increasing the producer price’’, he said, adding, “It is worthy to note that, farmers in the Ghana receive the highest FOB price in the sub-region”.
He said, the International price of cocoa on the commodity market has witnessed some unprecedented decrease from $2950 per ton in 2015; it is now sold at $2300 per ton. “Therefore, for a government to increase the price of a bag of cocoa from GHS 475 to GHS 515 despite the decrease in the international market, means the government deserves nothing but commendation,” he stressed.
He entreated Ghanaians not to forget that, at the time Ivory Coast was forced to slash the price of cocoa as a result of a decrease in the price of cocoa at the world market, but Ghana under the able leadership of Nana Addo still maintained the GHS 475 per bag.
Mr. Yakubu, used the opportunity to thank the government and the Ghana Cocobod for the numerous interventions and flagships programmes which has been introduced to boost cocoa production.
In anticipation of the World Market Price volatility and mindful of the plight of the farmer, COCOBOD has put in place productivity improvement schemes such as Cocoa Mass Spraying Exercise, Fertilizer subsidy, Hand Pollination, rehabilitation and compensation to farmers who have had their cocoa trees cut down as a result of swollen shoot diseases, pruning of affected cocoa trees, free distribution of cocoa seedlings aimed at improving the current 450kg/ha to a minimum of 1500kg/g and also huge relief for cocoa farmers.
According to him, In July this year, the president announced the establishment of a $100million cocoa processing factory, in relation to that, the Paramount chief of Sefwi Wiawso, Katakyie Kwasi Bumangama II, has graciously given out a vast land to aid the government in this regards.
He expressed their profound gratitude to government and the Cocobod for recognising the contributions of the Western North Region as the third-highest cocoa producing region in the country.`
The 2017 National Best Cocoa Farmer disclosed this at a Press Conference held at Sefwi Wiawso with other cocoa farmers from different parts of the Western North Region with the intention to commend government for his tremendous performance in the Agric sector, since he assumed power.
He appealed to the Ghana Cocobod to increase its hi-tech chemical as well as the government to do more in climbing down on illegal activities such as smuggling of cocoa farm inputs into neighbouring countries.
Story By: Daniel Akwasi Nuako