Cocoa farmers have been assured of “rainy days” as the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) braces itself to announce new cocoa prices for the 2019/2020 crop season.
According to the CEO of Cocobod, announcement of the new cocoa price will coincide with the grand durbar of the 2019 Cocoa Day slated for Sunyani. The event is expected to be graced by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“The climax of the event, which is a grand durbar, is the day the president will deliver a keynote address; and mind you, that is the day the price of cocoa for the coming cocoa season 2019/2020 will be announced…so it is a very important occasion” CEO of Cocobod, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said.
Speaking at launch of the 2019 Cocoa Day in Accra, Mr. Aidoo indicated that the price of cocoa is determined by the producer price review committee which entails an amalgamation of a number of representatives – from farmer representative groups across the country as well as reps from Ghana Cocoa Board, Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, and all other stakeholders in the cocoa sector who are on the committee.
“It is only the committee that can determine the price of cocoa, and we are going to meet this week. They will continue meeting till the end of September and then present the new price to government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; so a price is coming as I have been telling farmers, they must look forward to rainy days ahead,” he said.
On what informed the decision, Mr. Aidoo maintained that the world market price, when the terminal market price looks favourable, will be influenced; if it is not favourable, then the price will be affected.
The foremost factor is the international market price, which decides what farmers must also have as the producer price, he noted.
Parliament has approved a US$1.3billion offshore syndicated loan for the purchase of 950,000 tonnes of cocoa beans for the 2019/2020 crop season.
Cocobod is expected to formally sign the documents and access the facility on 13th September, officials from the Board hinted to B&FT. That facility is also expected to have an influence on the new cocoa price.
Before the commencement of a cocoa season, mostly in October every year, COCOBOD usually announces a farm gate price – the producer price – that it will pay to farmers for their beans in the crop season.
That price was last increased by 11.76 percent in October 2016 to cover the 2016/2017 season. Since then, it has remained unchanged at GH¢7,600 per tonne – translating into GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilogrammes (kg) gross weight.
Ghana and Ivory Coast are expected to announce the new cocoa price concurrently on October 1, 2019.
The 2019 Cocoa Day has been slated for 28th September to October 1 at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Activities lined up for the event include a health walk/talk with Muslim communities, exhibition, Youth forum, Inter University Cocoa recipe demonstration, and time with national best cocoa farmers as well as a grand durbar.
The celebration of Cocoa Day is to reinforce commitment to promoting cocoa as a healthy food and encourage its consumption regularly – a time for stocktaking and forecasts.
It is also to acknowledge the contributions of cocoa farmers.