The Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Cocoa, Mr. Kennedy Nyarko Osei, has said the coco
President Nana Akufo-Addo rejected suggestions to have the price of cocoa reduced at the time when the world market price dropped.
The IMF had cautioned Ghana to review the producer price of cocoa downwards to reflect changes in international cocoa prices, adding, the downward adjustment would help COCOBOD deal with its current funding gap of GHC1 billion.
However, the president felt reduction would have demoralised farmers, hence asked COCOBOD to maintain the price.
The producer price of cocoa was last increased in October 2016 by 11.76% to cover the 2016/2017 season and had remained unchanged since at GH¢7,600 per tonne, translating into GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilogrammes (kg) gross weight.
Since then the price of cocoa on the international market had suffered volatility, dropping from an average of US$2,500 per tonne in November 2016 and ending that at US$2,287 per tonne, the same year, according to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO).
He disclosed it cost the nation GHc4 billion to maintain the old price despite suggestions by the IMF to have it reduced.
The Deputy Minister said it was the toughest decision for the government, but the president rejected the offer and instructed the Finance Minister to make available resources for the stabilization.
He said when the new increment was announced, it cost the government GHc918 million as deficit.
To him, Ghanaian cocoa farmers are lucky to have the price increased to the new figure.
Cocoa Price Increased
The government on October 1, 2019, announced an increment in cocoa producer price by more than 8 per cent for the next crop season.
This meant that a 64-kilo bag would now be sold at GH¢515, while a tone would go for GH¢8,249.
The price of cocoa remained bleak throughout 2017, rising only in October before falling again to end December at US$1,917.68 per tonne, according to the world cocoa body.
In 2018, ICCO’s data showed that prices strengthened consistently to peak at US$2,659.9 per tonne in May before fluctuating throughout the remaining part of the year.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal