BY YESMAN ANTOH-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Accra, Ghana- THE CHIEF Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has expressed immense confidence that the producer price of cocoa for the next season will come as good news to cocoa farmers.
Although the price is determined by the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) who meet each year to fix the farm gate price, the COCOBOD boss is optimistic that the committee will settle on a good price which cocoa farmers will find pleasing.
Aidoo expressed these thoughts while addressing a rally of cocoa farmers and chiefs at Antoakrom in the Ashanti Region, on the first day of a 3-day working tour of cocoa producing communities.
The tour is to assess the level of farmer participation in the various cocoa productivity enhancement programmes (PEPs) being implemented by COCOBOD. It is also to gathering first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing farmers at different parts of the cocoa-producing areas, and to hold farmer rallies to interact with farmers.
The PPRC is constituted of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture, COCOBOD, cocoa farmer representatives, Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), among others. The committee meets between August and September each year to review the producer price of cocoa
He suggested that the committee’s decision will be officially announced by President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo at a planned event at Sunyani, in September 2019, to mark the end of the 2018/2019 cocoa season and usher in the next cocoa season.
“You will hear some good news this year and even better news next year,” Aidoo assured the gathering.
“It is important that you all endeavor to do the right thing. Prepare yourselves because the prices which are coming next year hasn’t been heard of before.”
“Although the new trading mechanism jointly negotiated by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will be the price at which the two countries will sell their cocoa to international buyers from the 2020/2021 season, you should yet expect good news in terms of pricing for the 2019/2020 season”.
“There are very good days ahead”, he went on to say. Farmers should as such not be tempted to give out their lands to galamsey operators. “It will be a shame to miss out on the good times ahead because you took the bad decision to give out your land for galamsey.”
The government is expected to soon introduce legislation on the implementation of the new trading mechanism and the application of the funds which accrue as a result.
As part of the roadmap for the implementation of the new Floor Price mechanism, the two countries (Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire) have agreed that farmers in both countries will be guaranteed a minimum price of 70% of the floor price $2,600 price FOB ($2,700 CIF) per tonne.
When the achieved average Gross FOB price at the end of the Cocoa Season is between the minimum price level of $2,600 ($2,700 CIF) and $2,900 ($3,000 CIF), farmers will be entitled to bonus payments. A stabilization fund will also be established as part of the mechanism.
Aidoo also took the opportunity to strongly advice the farmers to desist from child labor practices and from bringing their children to farmers even for mundane tasks that can be misconstrued as child labor.
He cautioned particularly against bringing babies and toddlers who could be exposed to farm hazards.
He was equally concerned about encroachments into forest reserves for use as cocoa farm sand asked the farmers to promptly report any such encroachers to authorities.
Aidoo is being accompanied by some top management officials from COCOBOD.
BY YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, BUSINESS & POLITICS, GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT
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