Sustainability programmes affecting pricing of cocoa beans – COCOBOD CEO

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer, COCOBOD

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has said sustainability programmes by international organisations for cocoa farmers in the country is hurting the industry.

According to him, just a handful of cocoa farmers in the country benefit from such programmes and those who do are not given what is due them.

He explained that due to these programmes, the price of the commodity on the international market keeps dropping significantly. This situation ripples down on the farmers who are not able to get an increase for their commodities.

One metric tonne of cocoa beans was pegged at GH₵10,560, which works down to GH₵660 per 64kg bag. The same producer price was maintained for the 2021/22 season and same for 2022/2023 season. In effect, there was no increment.

In view of this, some cocoa farmers have had to smuggle their beans to Ivory Coast for what seems to them as ‘good price’, hence, making the country run a loss.

“Cocoa exports globally have been reduced by 300,000 metric tonnes this year. However, the price of cocoa is still on the low. What I know is anytime there is cocoa in abundance, its price reduces. Therefore, when there is shortage on the global market and you still pay for the product at a lower rate, then, we must sit to discuss this situation.

“Once a while, you will realise that foreigners would come to the farmers with juicy packages such as a sustainability programme. They stand on this and do not give us the actual price of the commodity. When their sponsors give them     US$100 to be given to the farmers, they only give US$17 to the farmers.

“Those involved in the sustainability programme are less than 200,000 farmers out of the over 1.6 million farmers. So, why would they use this to reduce the global price for the cocoa.

“So, we are here to discuss with you those who engage in the sustainability programmes, and the way forward for us all. For the foreigners, what they want is for us to sell our commodity to them at a cheap price,” he noted.

Touching on the effects of smuggling cocoa to neighbouring countries for more money, Mr. Aidoo urged the farmers to desist from the act.

He noted that governments’ all-time arrangement with farmers is the best compared to what other countries who grow the commodity have. He explained that the aftercare services – fertiliser subsidy, mass spraying, among other things – are not done for farmers in the other countries.

Mr. Aidoo made these comments when he met with chief cocoa farmers at Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to discuss ways to improve activities of the cocoa industry in the country and other matters of concern.

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