Akim Oda, Aug. 18, GNA - Government is to pay 70 per cent of the world market price of cocoa (FOB) to farmers during the 2004/2005 farming season to give them more financial support, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo has announced' He said before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took office, the producer price was just 2.25 million cedis per ton representing 45 per cent of the world market price.
Mr Osafo Marfo said this in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of the Birim South District branch of the Agricultural Producer Council (APC), Young Farmers Club on Tuesday.
He said in the 2000/2001 farming season, the NPP government increased the producer price to 3.475 million cedis per ton, which was further increase to the current figure of 9 million cedis per ton, which formed 65 per cent of the world market price.
The Minister said contrary to what opponents of the government were saying, the increase in cocoa yield was as a result of the sound and innovative practices introduced into the system such as the mass spraying exercise and hi-tech embarked on by the government.
On post-harvest loses, Mr Osafo Marfo said the government had promoted the use of improved storage facilities and encouraged the District Assemblies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to put up community level storage facilities to help redress the issue. The Eastern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Godwin Ocloo, appealed to farmers to form groups to eliminate the inadequacies militating against quality production services for the development of agriculture.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Amprofi, assured farmers that plans were far advanced by the government to ensure guaranteed prices for farm produce.
The Secretary General of the APC, Mr Samuel Ohene Kontoh, reminded farmers on the benefit they would derive when they form co-operatives such as getting assess to bank loans and other credit facilities. The branch executive included Rev. Ohene-Abednego, Coordinator, Mr Kwasi Owiredu, chairman, Nana Aborakwa, Vice Chairman, Mr Isaac Obeng Boama, Secretary, Mr James Nyamekye, Treasurer, Mr Yaw Ofosu Baah, Public Relations Officer and Ms Martha Ackom, Women's Organizer.