Government has been applauded for maintaining the producer price of cocoa for the 2018/2019 cocoa season.
Nana Johnson Mensah Cocoa Farmers’ Representative on the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) praised government and COCOBOD for keeping the producer price at GH¢7,600 per tonne amid a plummeting world market price for cocoa over the past three years.
Nana Johnson Mensah, who also doubles as the Western South Regional Chief farmer, made the remarks at a send-off party organised in honour of the 2017 National Best Cocoa Farmers who were on a tour of the United Kingdom as part of their award package.
“The price at which COCOBOD buys cocoa from farmers is far better than prices in neighbouring cocoa producing countries,” Nana Johnson Mensah said.
Addressing the farmers, Mrs. Matilda Alomatu Osei Agyemang – Head of Chancery who represented the Ghana High Commissioner to United Kingdom and Ireland – congratulated the best cocoa farmers on winning the awards and encouraged them to even work harder to sustain the country’s major export commodity, which has been the backbone of Ghana’s economy for years.
Mrs. Osei Agyemang was particularly happy seeing young cocoa farmers working so hard to win awards in various categories, and thus used the opportunity to call on Ghanaian youth to take up cocoa farming as a business venture.
The Head of Public Affairs Department of COCOBOD and leader of the delegation, Mr. Noah Amenyah, implored Ghanaians abroad to take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities that exist in the cocoa industry to add value to the crop.
Mr. Amenyah revealed that COCOBOD and government have resolved to ensure the processing of at least 50% of cocoa produced in the country to the tertiary, to boost local consumption and also insulate the country’s major cash crop against world price volatility.
He seized the opportunity to throw more light on the nutritional and health benefits of consuming cocoa, and called on all to cultivate the habit of making cocoa part of their daily menu.
There were also fraternity messages from the UK Office of the Ghana Forestry Commission and other dignitaries present.
While in the UK, the farmers had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with cocoa-processing facilities and other related events.
Meanwhile, the National Best Cocoa Farmers were sponsored by COCOBOD as part of the award scheme of the Board to motivate farmers and also attract the youth to go into cocoa farming.
They were Mr. Osman Yakubu, 2017 National Best Cocoa Farmer; Mr. Philip Essien, 2017 Most Promising Young Cocoa Farmer; and Madam Cecilia Danso, Most Enterprising Female Cocoa Farmer.
Other officials on the trip included Nana Obeng Akrofi – farmers’ representative on the Board of Directors of COCOBOD, who is also the Eastern Regional Chief Farmer of the Ghana Cocoa Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association (COCOSHE).