The Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has indicated that a statement by Former President John Dramani Mahama regarding the increase in cocoa producer prices every year during his administration was inaccurate.
The management of COCOBOD said the records available point to the opposite.
This was after Mr Mahama accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of destroying the cocoa sector.
Mr Mahama indicated that cocoa farmers used to be paid instantly during the era of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) whenever they sold their cocoa.
But, he said, it now takes the farmers three months to receive their cash.
Also, he added, the farmers no longer enjoy free fertilizer as they used to during the period of the NDC.
These factors have negatively impacted the cocoa business, Mr Mahama said during his campaign tour of the Western North Region on Tuesday April 25 to be elected flagbearer of the NDC.
The 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC said “every year, we adjusted the producer prices for cocoa but currently, the government does little adjustment once in four years, this has affected the cocoa business badly, it is no longer lucrative.
“Cocoa farmers are now selling their lands to galamseyers because it is no longer profitable, it takes the farmers three months for them to get their funds when they sell their cocoa but under the NDC it was instant payment. We also gave cocoa farmers fertilizers free of charge.”
But in a statement, the management of COCOBOD said “Management also wishes to place on record, that the Former President’s statement regarding the increase in cocoa producer prices every year during his administration is inaccurate, since the records available point to the opposite.
“Specifically, there was no upward adjustment of the producer price of cocoa in the 2012/2013 Crop Season. Similarly, the producer price of the preceding season was maintained for the 2015/2016 Crop Season, with no upward adjustment.
“Indeed, within a three-year period of the Former President’s administration, i.e. the 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 crop season, there was a total of six (6) percent increase in the producer price. In contrast, within the last three years, there has been a 23 percent, 0 percent and a 21 percent increase in the producer price of cocoa.”
It is important to note that the producer price is largely determined by international market prices as well as other industry costs, and every effort is made to arrive at a producer price that is fair to farmers even when international market conditions are unfavourable, the statement said.
“We further wish to put on record and also assure the general public that the cocoa industry is not collapsing as being portrayed by the Former President. Ghana recorded its highest ever cocoa production volume of one million and forty-five thousand five hundred metric tonnes (1,045,500) in the 2020/21 Crop Season. A cocoa industry which holds the position as the second highest producer in the world cannot also be said to have collapsed.
“COCOBOD continues to invest in interventions which will ensure not just the sustenance but the growth of the industry. Notably, the Hand Pollination Programme that increases pod count; the Mass Pruning Programme to enhance pests and disease control and induce flowering as well as the Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme which seeks to deal with the Cocoa Swollen Shoot virus disease that has ravaged about 45% of our cocoa tree stock. This is the biggest intervention that has ever been made to reverse the major threats that face the industry.”
Leave a Reply