The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo has hinted of conclusive discussions with the president to increase the price of cocoa in the coming months this year.
Currently, the government buys one bag of cocoa beans from farmers at GH¢515.00.
The CEO said since the cocoa sector was the backbone of Ghana’s economy which help to ensure the stability of the cedi, COCOBOD and the government have taken bold decisions that will inure to the welfare of the 1.2 million cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Mr Boahen-Aidoo said this during an engagement with cocoa farmers at separate functions at Nsuaem No.2 and Wassa-Afransie as part of a working visit to Dunkwa-On-Offin and Wassa-Akropong Districts in the Western South Cocoa Region.
Mr.Boahen-Aidoo, who is also the Nkosohene (Development Chief) of Nsuaem No.2, said as part of efforts to ensure that cocoa farmers enjoyed the fruits of their labour, Ghana now fixes and dictates the price of cocoa for the world, hence the need for farmers to expand their acreage and adopt sound cultural practices on their farms to harvest at least 20 bags per 1 acre.
The CEO told farmers that the government has sourced a $200-million fund from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to deal with the swollen shoot disease which was rife in the Wassa-Akropong and Dunkwa Districts by cutting the diseased trees for re-planting through extension officers and employed youth in the area.
Mr. Boahen-Aidoo lamented that 60 million seedlings were given to farmers during the Mahama administration but ironically, over 200 million hectares of cocoa went bad in the cocoa regions of Ghana.
It is against this backdrop that the COCOBOD has embarked upon regular tour and visits to cocoa farms to inspect mass pruning, advise farmers not to patronize unapproved chemicals on their farms, adding that about 30,000 pollinators have been employed to undertake the hand pollination exercise in all the 1.2 million cocoa farms across the country.
Mr. Boahen-Aidoo noted that farmers were not harvesting up to 1,000 pods from their cocoa trees due to non-compliance with cultural practices.
He announced that the government has earmarked an incentive package for farmers who observed sound cultural practices to increase productivity.