The Minority in Parliament is demanding that government through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) announce an appreciable farm gate price for cocoa farmers.
According to the Minority, anything below GHS1000 will not be acceptable, especially in the midst of current hardships.
“In fact, the uncertainties are getting very worrying. But let me say that after these uncertainties, government should not announce any price below thousand cedis per bag, in other words, GHc16,000 per metric tonne,” minority spokesperson on finance, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson told the media during an engagement on Wednesday.
The former Deputy Finance Minister further indicated that if prices of cocoa remain low for the Ghanaian cocoa farmer, it will motivate the smuggling of the beans to Ivory Coast for a better price.
“It will surprise you that on Friday, 30th September 2022, our neighbouring country, Ivory Coast announced a price of 900 CFA franc which is equivalent to GHC852 per bag or GHC13,632 per metric tonne. Even though their currency is not depreciating at this rate as we have observed in Ghana. Let me caution that if this government fails to raise the Cocoa prices it could trigger massive smuggling, particularly at a time when we need every single dollar.
“Today, one thing that this country needs most foreign Exchange, the dollar, and so we cannot afford to allow our cocoa to leave the borders of our country. And we can only do that if indeed we preserve the farm gate price by giving the farmers a good price,” Dr. Ato Forson argued.
Due to the hardships being suffered by cocoa farmers in the country, some have even started giving up their lands for galamsey.
Some have said they are earning more in just a few months after giving up their lands for mining than they did in the past 20 years of farming cocoa.