Cocoa And Sheanut Farmers to Meet On New Price
NANA ERHUMA Kpanyili VI, Chief of Awiebo Traditional Area and the National President of the Ghana Cocoa Coffee and Sheanut Association, has said his association did not react to the recent increment in the producer price of cocoa because the association is scheduled to meet the representatives of the government and stakeholders in the industry to adjust the price before the year ends.
He said this when he spoke to the Chronicle on the problems farmers are facing in the cocoa industry.
He said Ghana has lost around ¢510billion through smuggling of about 60,000metric tonnes of cocoa and the black pod disease.
Nana Kpanyili disclosed that the massive smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring countries is mainly due to the differentials in the producer price of cocoa in Cote D'Ivoire. "While a bag of cocoa beans is bought around ¢900,000 in Cote D'Ivoire, it is sold in Ghana at ¢535,250," he noted.
He argued that if the difference between the two prices had been around ¢100,000, the rate of smuggling might have come down because nobody would incur transportation cost of more than ¢100,000 to smuggle a bag of cocoa across the border.
He commended the government for establishing the Cocoa Anti-Smuggling Initiative to reduce smuggling across the country's borders.
He observed that the mass spraying of cocoa is going on smoothly this year but the frequent shortages of fuel (premix) is hindering the exercise; so he appealed to the government to make it available at all times.
The farmers' leader also called on the government to or reshape roads in villages around the boarders and farming communities to help farmers transport their produce to the ports for export.
He announced that the Cocoa Research Institute at Tafo had developed a hybrid from amazonia and Tetteh Quarshie cocoa seeds which yield all year round and advised farmers to plant the hybrid seeds for better yield.
On coffee and sheanut farmers, he stated that they are performing well although inadequate financing is hampering their performance.
He said the Bole Research Station is developing a hybrid of sheanut from the wild seeds. He praised the Western Regional Minister for introducing a housing scheme for farmers.