The Minority in Parliament has called for the immediate review of government's decision to maintain the producer price of cocoa at Ghc 475 per bag for the 2018/2019 cocoa season, describing the decision as totally unacceptable.
The Minority said the decision will seriously impoverish farmers.
The Minority caucus made the call at a press conference at Goaso in the Asunafo North District in the Brong Ahafo region today (Wednesday).
The Minority Ranking Member on Food and Agriculture and MP for Asunafo South, Hon Eric Opoku said government used a low exchange rate of Ghc 4.54 instead of Bank of Ghana official rate of Ghc4.8 to the dollar in calculating the FOB price of cocoa, thereby resulting in a low price of Ghc 475 per bag instead of Ghc 510.75.
Hon. Eric Opoku said government has also failed to account for the proceeds of the premium from cocoa for the 2017/2018 cocoa season amounting to Ghc 1 billion 262 million 800 000 which could have been used to increase the price of Cocoa for farmers.
The Minority caucus also described as false, the claim by the CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board that the World Market price of cocoa has declined by 40%.
The Minority Ranking Member on Finance, Hon Ato Forson said by maintaining the producer price of cocoa at Ghc 475 per bag of cocoa, government has rather impoverished cocoa farmers by indirectly reducing the real producer price .
Ghana, the world's second largest cocoa grower, maintained the guaranteed price it pays farmers at GH₵7,600 per tonne for the 2018/19 main crop harvest.
Agric Minister, Dr Afriyie Akoto made the announcement whiles addressing cocoa farmers and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry at the 2018 Cocoa Day event.
“The 2018/19 cocoa season which starts on Friday, October 5, has been officially announced. The government in consultation with stakeholders has decided to maintain the producer price for cocoa at GH₵7,600 per tonne or GH₵475 per bag of 64 Kilograms (KG),” he stated.
The timing for the announcement of cocoa producer price was concurrent with Ivory Coast, a move expected to check smuggling between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast, the world's leading producer of cocoa, raised the guaranteed price it pays farmers to 750 CFA francs ($1.34) per kilogram for the 2018/19 main crop harvest.
Crop output for the 2018/19 season is expected to be mostly unchanged at slightly under 2 million tonnes, Chairman of Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council Lambert Kouassi Konan said at a ceremony to mark the start of the season.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|