The Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (COCOSHE), the umbrella body of tree crop farmers in the country, has welcomed the increase in the producer price of cocoa from GH¢515 to GH¢660 for a bag of 64kg cocoa.
It said the 28.2 per cent hike announced by the government demonstrated a commitment towards improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers.
The farmers said they had also heaved a sigh of relief as the government had rolled out the much-talked about Living Income Differential (LID) price which gave cocoa farmers $400 more per tonne of cocoa.
A statement signed by the National President of the association, who doubles as the National Chief Farmer, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, said: “Again, we have not lost sight of the various on-going Productivity Enhancement Programme (PEP) that the government and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) are implementing to support farmers to increase yields.”
On September 24, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a new producer price of GH¢10,560 per tonne, equivalent to GH¢660 per bag, for the coming 2020/21 crop year.
The price, which took effect from October 1, 2020, represents a hike of more than 28 per cent over the price obtained in the outgoing crop year of 2019/20.
The association said the hand pollination, mass pruning, irrigation projects, cocoa rehabilitation programme, free seedlings and other corporate social responsibilities such as the cocoa roads projects had enormously supported farmers to give their best.
It also commended its representative on the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) who, it said, had painstakingly articulated cocoa farmers’ position, concerns and viewpoints to convince the government to appreciate the need for such an increase in the price this year.
“We are not only excited at the astronomical increase in the price this year but also appreciative of the government’s recognition of the toils, passion and efforts of our gallant farmers who produce Ghana’s golden pod,” it said.
The association assured the government and COCOBOD that cocoa farmers in the country would continue to be a strong partner and support initiatives geared towards increasing productivity and the livelihoods of COCOBOD members.