Cocobod to halt free fertiliser to cocoa farmers
Thebftonline.com can confirm that barring any last minute decision from the government, cocoa farmers will have to purchase fertilizer for their cocoa farms beginning this 2017/2018 crop season.
This new policy direction is contained in a seven-page document seeking reforms of the cocoa sector aimed at increasing productivity and the sector robust through innovation.
Known as the “Ghana's new cocoa sector development strategy”, the document seeks to modernise Ghana's cocoa sector and produce climate-smart cocoa through increased productivity of farms.
According to the document, the government hopes to focus on high-quality cocoa and niche markets by making Ghana's cocoa resilient in the face of fluctuating global prices, climate change and competitive.
A team of cocoa experts which recommended the subsidy reform according to the document stated that, it is the only way to eliminate market distortions where some farmers complain of not receiving the fertilizers allocated them and also end the situation where some of the products finds its way to neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Togo.
The group of cocoa experts which included non-governmental organisations who worked on the document stated in the document that Cocobod's new leadership is receptive to a policy document that have been submitted and aims to stimulate the industry.
It comes after the NPP government upon assuming the reigns of governance, moved the regulator of the cocoa industry, Cocobod from reporting directly to the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, all in an effort to liberalise the sector and boost production.
The thebftonline.com understands that, it is being proposed that a price of a 50 kilogram of the fertilizer should be sold at GH?80 cedis per bag, rather than the regular price of GH?151 per bag.
For years’ cocoa farmers complained that the distribution of free fertiliser was unreliable, unfair and products went disproportionately to supporters of the previous government, a charge Cocobod had always denied.