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Government increases Producer Prices of cocoa
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General News of Friday, 13 October 2006

Source: GNA

Government increases Producer Prices of cocoa

Accra, Oct. 13, GNA - Government on Friday raised the producer price of cocoa from 9.0 million cedis to 9.150 million cedis per tonne for the 2006/2007 Main Cocoa Season to reward farmers.

The new price for a bag of 64.0 kilograms is now 571,875 cedis compared to 562,500 cedis previously.

The Government would also pay a bonus of 17,140 cedis a bag and would cover the 645,985 tonnes purchased during the Main Crop Season.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who made the announcement at a press conference to open the cocoa season, said the increment was in fulfilment of Government's promise to review the price during the celebration of the just ended Cocoa Producers Alliance Day in Sunyani.

He said the producer price have increased three fold since 2001, which ensured that farmers were paid decent and remunerative prices adding: "Currently the farmer enjoyed over 70 per cent of the net Free On Board (FOB) price or 9.0 million cedis per tonne from 3.475 million cedis in 2001."

On bonuses, Mr Baah-Wiredu said the farmers were paid four times within the same period.

He said cocoa output in the country has almost doubled since the 200/2001 Crop Season following the implementation of the policy initiative, which included cocoa farm spraying and the introduction of new farming methods.

"This in no doubt has consolidated our position as the world's second largest producer of cocoa with the just ended season being a case of our success story," the Minister said.

He said Ghana produced 740,457 tonnes during the 2005/2006 Crop Season, the highest on record. The previous highest was the 736,911 tonnes produced in the 2003/2004 Crop Season.

Mr Baah-Wiredu reiterated government's commitment to pay economic rates and fees to stakeholders in the cocoa industry.

He said for the new season, sufficient jute sacks, twine, ink and tarpaulins were purchased and would be released on time to the Licence buying Companies (LBCs) to ensure smooth purchasing operations. "This year, Ghana Cocoa Board has raised a total of 810 million dollars for purchasing operations.

"We, therefore, have adequate funding to cover all cocoa purchases estimated at 5.49 trillion cedis," he said.

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