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Business News of Monday, 4 October 2021

Source: thebftonline.com

Government maintains cocoa price at GH¢660 per bag

Ghana is a major producer of cocoa Ghana is a major producer of cocoa

Government has maintained the producer price for the purchase of cocoa beans at GH¢10,560 per metric tonne for the 2021/2022 crop season, representing 87.1 of the Free on Board (FOB) value.

By this, a 64-kilogramme bag of cocoa beans will still sell at GH¢660. This is expected to take effect from Friday 8th October 2021.

The stay of the price makes Ghana the country in the sub-region with the highest price.

Speaking at a press briefing, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, stated that the move demonstrates government’s commitment to sustaining the interests of cocoa farmers and also improving their wellbeing.

According to him, the producer price was maintained when all cocoa-producing countries are contemplating a reduction in their farm gate prices, following a slump in the terminal cocoa market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Akoto explained that the price includes the US$400 Living Income Differential (LID) expected to go directly to all cocoa farmers.

“Today, cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are better off than their counterparts in other cocoa-producing countries as a result of this noble initiative.”

Commencement of pension scheme

Dr. Akoto announced that all is set for the implementation of the cocoa farmers’ pension scheme for the 2021/2022 crop season.

Describing the scheme as unprecedented, the minister was hopeful the move will ensure the sustainable livelihood of the cocoa farmer after retirement from active work.

“This initiative will not only prepare the future for farmers but will also send an indication to the youth that cocoa farming is a decent job that can protect their future,” he said.

Electronic weighing starts

As part of measures to protect the cocoa farmer from exploitation, Dr. Akoto stated that the usage of uniform non-negotiable electronic weighing scales will be deployed by October 8 to weigh cocoa beans.

The new scales, according to him, have been certified by the Ghana Standards Authority and been ascertained to conform with mandatory requirements.

He added that cocoa buyers cannot adjust the weighing scales after they have been calibrated and sealed by the Ghana Standards Authority.

“I want to caution Licencing Buying Companies that nobody can and should attempt to tamper with new scales since they cannot be altered,” he said.

Support for the new season

Dr. Akoto assured that government will continue to support cocoa farmers through the pests and diseases control programme.

He added that COCOBOD has already put measures in place to continue with the distribution of hybrid seeds, pruning, hand pollination, and the cocoa rehabilitation programme.

“Government has also committed itself to continue supplying certified planting materials that are drought-tolerant, early-bearing and high-yielding”.

He explained that the implementation of these productivity enhancement programmes resulted in achieving record production of 1,046,958 metric tonnes of cocoa beans for the 2020/2021 crop season.