Ghana government to increase cocoa producer price

cocoa-treePresident John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday gave indications that government would increase the producer prices of cocoa, coffee and sheanut and support the industries to maintain their remarkable contribution to the national economy.

He lauded the hard work of Ghanaian producers of the three cash crops, with cocoa being the backbone of the economy.

President Mills gave the assurance when the National Executives of the Ghana National Association of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers paid a courtesy call on him at The Osu Castle in Accra.

The Executives congratulated the President on the initiatives he had so far taken to improve upon the three allied industries, but requested further reforms to improve on the welfare of the farmers.

The delegation, with Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan as spokesman, requested among other things, the re-organisation of the cocoa mass spraying exercise to make it more efficient, a pension scheme for the farmers, a more effective check on the smuggling of cocoa, an increase in the producer prices of the commodities to encourage increased production, and the adoption of measures to attract the youth into cocoa and coffee cultivation.

They also requested the establishment of a separate board, apart from COCOBOD, to cater for the sheanut industry.

Currently, there are some 600,000 farmers in the cocoa, coffee and sheanut industries, with a 1.2 billion dollar contribution annually to the national economy, the bulk of which comes from cocoa.

President Mills assured the farmers that Government would support them to enhance their contribution to the industry, adding that theirs was a privileged position in having a former Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, Mr Martey Newman, as the Chief of Staff at the Presidency.

Mr Newman said the cocoa industry played important roles, not only in economics but also in bringing the nation together because of the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual backgrounds of the people engaged in the cultivation and development of plantations.

He assured the executives that their concerns would be addressed.

Source: GNA

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