Cocoa farmers across the Central Region have commended the government for the historic increase in the producer price of cocoa ahead of the start of the 2023/2024 cocoa season.
Beaming with smile, Mr Daniel Armah, a 35-year-old farmer at Twifo-Mampong in the Twifo Atti-Morkwa District said, “Government has surprised cocoa farmers.”
He told the Ghana News Agency that the move had indirectly ensured that all cocoa farmers to better enjoy the fruit of their labour.
“Hurray, the increase in cocoa price for the 2023/2024 cocoa season from GH¢800.00 per bag to GH¢1,308.00 per bag is our historic single spine.”
“This is a big boost to enriching farmers to end pervasive poverty in the sector. For now, it is a duty call on us to maintain our farms well to earn more.
“At this time, no one should regard cocoa farming as a poor man's business because we are equal to those on single spine and must be accorded all privileges as such,” Mr Armah stated.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday, September 9, announced a new cocoa price at the opening of the 2023/2024 cocoa season at a forum in Tepa in the Ashanti Region.
The new price moved the commodity per tonne from GH¢12,800.00 to GH¢ 20,943.00, representing a 63.5 per cent increment of the previous one.
The new price is the highest in the sub-region in the past 15 years and is meant to improve the livelihoods of the farmers and for a fair and remunerative price for their efforts.
Mr Yaw Adobah, a former Chief Farmer at Subin in the Upper Denkyira West District, said the new cocoa price would encourage the youth to accept cocoa farming as a lucrative venture.
He, therefore, urged the youth to take up cocoa farming instead of engaging in risky ventures such as illegal mining, hard drugs, robbery and chancing none existing white-collar jobs.
He said cocoa farming had many prospects to change their lives as well as guarantee them sustainable livelihoods rather than those “illegal trades” which were injurious to their health.
In the Assin South District, a 40-year-old mother of four and a widow, Madam Diana Otabil, described the new price as 'a relief to all farmers in these troubling economic times” as they sort for alternatives to stay afloat.
To her, it was the surest way of redistributing the national wealth equally regardless of one's occupation, gender, and location.
She, however, called on the government to subsidise farm inputs to boost agricultural production.
“The rising cost of farm inputs as well as fertilisers, agrochemicals, insecticides among others,” she said, were hampering efforts to increase cultivation, hence the urgent need for the subsidies.
Mr Joshua Amoah Duodu, a farmer at Abaasa in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District, said the significant increase in the producer price of the crop combined with other interventions in the sector, would help to enhance their livelihoods tremendously.
He called on the government to speed up road construction work in farming communities to ease commuting challenges and exorbitant increase in transport fares.