Stakeholders within the global cocoa industry have accepted Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire’s proposed Floor Price of $2,600 per ton of cocoa, and expected take effect from the main growing season of 2020-2021, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has said.
This gives the highest of assurance of better producer prices for farmers within the top-two cocoa-producing countries in the world, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, for the period since 70 percent of the price will be going to the farmers for their produce sold to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs).
However, the two countries are expected to meet certain demands within and beyond the period, to avert a threat of a boycott of the commodity by the European Union (EU).
This includes the total elimination of child labour in cocoa production; avoiding farming in reserved forests as well as the elimination of the use of harmful chemicals such as ‘Two-Four D’ from production.
Against this backdrop, the COCOBOD Chief Executive has charged cocoa farmers to help government ensure that only best practices are adopted in the cocoa farming business.
Mr. Aidoo was addressing cocoa farmers at separate locations in the Ashanti Region as part of a three-day tour of the region, and also assured the announcement of a new cocoa producer price for the 2019-2020 season.
He said the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC), which is responsible for setting the price for each season, will be mindful of the need to improve the living standards of cocoa farmers.
The PPRC is expected to reach a decision by the end of the current cocoa season and in time for the upcoming 2019 Cocoa Day, which will be held in Sunyani, on October 1, to open the 2019/2020 crop season.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to officially announce the new producer price at the event.
The crop season following the immediate upcoming one (2020/2021) will bring into force the jointly negotiated floor price and Living Income Differentials by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo said this when he addressed farmers at a rally on the first day of a three-day Ashanti Regional tour to engage cocoa farmers on efforts being made by COCOBOD in ridding cocoa farms of diseases and pests, as part of improving the cocoa industry as a whole.
The visit by the COCOBOD Chief Executive and other management members will also afford them a chance to interact with farmers in order to learn at first-hand their concerns and factors militating against the agenda to increase the national production output.
The visit will also be used to explain certain key interventions being implemented by COCOBOD while educating the farmers on the best farming practices they need to adopt for improved yield. Already, the COCOBOD management team has held durbars with farmers from the three districts in the Amansie area: at Tontokrom, Adansi Atobiase, and Brofoyedru near Adansi Asokwa in the Adansi North district, and Obuasi.
Some of the farmers’ concerns at the various forums include issues of irregular and untimely supply of the subsidized fertilizers and approved agrochemicals, poor roads leading to and from cocoa producing communities.
The farmers also noted delayed payment of Allowances and supply of working gear to members of the Mass Spraying Gangs among others.