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Business News of Friday, 26 January 2018

Source: citibusinessnews.com

General Agricultural Workers’ Union cautions government on reducing cocoa price

The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) has cautioned government against taking a unilateral decision on the producer price of cocoa.

According to GAWU, government must follow due process if it wants to review the producer price of cocoa downwards.

Government last year maintained the producer price for the 2017/2018 crop season at 7,600 cedis per metric tonne, translating into 475 cedis per bag of 64 kilograms.

But information reaching Citi Business News, indicates that Government is considering reviewing the producer price of cocoa downwards, following a considerable drop in the commodity’s price since November 2017.

Speaking to Citi Business News, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh stated that all stakeholders need to be part of any downward review of the producer price of cocoa.

“We must work with the established system of determining the producer price of cocoa. If circumstances warrant a review, then we must subject it to the due process so that all stakeholders can be accountable and also seen to be a part of the process of the review. We do not want unilateral decisions, more importantly when those decisions affect other stakeholders,” he said.

GAWU a few weeks back opposed suggestions that government reviews downwards the producer price for cocoa to offset any drop in revenue from the cash crop.

The association back then feared that any such move will have dire implications for the cocoa sector and distort economic plans for the year.

Recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), warned Ghana against a further drop in the price of cocoa on the international market.

According to the EIU, cocoa production may drop due to challenges associated with old cocoa trees in the country.

The price of cocoa has dropped sharply from 3000 dollars per tonne to about 1900 dollars by the end of 2017.

Also, Ghana is said to be losing at least 1 billion dollars every year as a result of the declining prices of cocoa on the international market.