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09.07.2008 Business & Finance

Government must pay fair prices on cocoa – Collins Dauda

By gna
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Alhaji Collins Dauda, MP for Asutifi South, on Wednesday said Government must consider the world market price of cocoa and
pay Ghanaian cocoa farmers fair prices for their produce.

He contended that unfair prices were a recipe for the recent smuggling
of cocoa beans to neighbouring countries, where the prices tended to be more attractive.

He said that it was no good to wait till such negative practices before Government came in to re-fix the prices.

Alhaji Dauda told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an Accra that, when Ghana Government paid farmers 593 Ghana cedis for a tonne of cocoa recently Cote d'Ivoire offered 760 Ghana Cedis.

He accused Government of not paying the 70 per cent of the gross freight on board, but rather made deductions against the farmer in the name of procuring jute bags which were rather sold locally and not exported as expected.

He said had the bags been exported, and the proceeds accounted for, it would have improved the lot of Ghanaian farmers.

The MP challenged Government and the Ghana COCOBOD to be transparent in the disbursement of cocoa proceeds.

He criticized the mass cocoa spraying exercise, saying it has been “politicized”, and alleged that a number of farmers have had to defect from one party to another to have their farms sprayed.

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