Government maintains cocoa producer price at GH¢7,600 per tonne

Government has maintained the producer price of cocoa for the 2017/18 season at GH¢7,600.00 per tonne, the same as paid to farmers in the 2016/17 season.

This is equivalent to GH¢475 cedis per bag of 64 kilogram gross weight.

The prices take effect from 13 October, which marks the beginning of the 2017/18 crop season.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, who is the Chairman of the Producer Price Review Committee, said the price was maintained despite the drastic decline in cocoa prices on the international market.

The price of cocoa on the international market has witnessed a dramatic decline to a ten year low of $1,900 from $3,000 per tonne in recent months, forcing some countries to reduce the producer prices paid to farmers.

This, he said, was having a telling effect on the finances to the extent that government was losing about $1.1 billion a year due to the fall in prices.

Dr Akoto said government had, however, decided to maintain the price in order to eliminate the harsh effects of the drastic decline in international cocoa prices on the earnings of the hardworking cocoa farmers.

“The huge drop in the world price of cocoa has reduced revenues to an extent that the stabilisation fund is not enough to cushion farmers and other stakeholders in the domestic value chain. Therefore, government has sacrificed its share of Free on Board (export duty) in order to keep the producer price at GH¢7,600 per tonne,” he said.

Dr Akoto said the Committee had also approved other rates and fees for stakeholders with the margins, rates and charges seeing reductions over last year’s levels due to the price drop.

The Minister said government had intensified measures, including hand pollination and small scale irrigation in Cocoa, aimed at increasing the productivity of cocoa farms and improving the efficiency of the operations of COCOBOD.

Other measures were rehabilitation and replanting of over-aged cocoa farms and farms that had been affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.

 Dr Akoto said government was working to accelerate the processing, utilisation and consumption of cocoa in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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