Ghana Cocobod Cannot Reduce The Cocoa Producer Price
The Manager, at the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr. Fiifi Boafo has indicated that the board cannot reduce the Cocoa producer price as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is advising the government to adjust the producer price of Cocoa to reflect the changes in international cocoa prices.
According to the IMF, the downward adjustment had become necessary because the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was grappling with a funding gap of One Billion Ghana cedis due to the government inability to reduce producer prices paid to cocoa farmers at a time global prices of the crop had been falling.
But, speaking on the SPACE FM MORNING FLIGHT show on Monday, April 29, Mr. Boafo made it categorically that, COCOBOD can never reduce the Cocoa Producer Price.
Mr. Boafo gave some reasons that had led to the decision of the COCOBOD not to reduce the producer price.
He said the Ghana Cocoa Board was of the view that, in determining the price, the country has to look beyond the economics of it, the environmental effects and the social effects which will emanate from the reducing the cocoa producer price.
He said, some of the cocoa famers may hand over their cocoa farms to the illegal miners, popularly known as galamesy operators which will definitely affect the country’s cocoa sector negatively.
On the third reason why the COCOBOD cannot reduce the cocoa producer price, Mr. Boafo stated that many of the cocoa farmers interest, strength and zeal in the cocoa farming is gradually reducing, because the revenue from the sector for them is small and nothing to write home about.
He said it is for these reasons why the government will not reduce the cocoa producer price, though; government is grappling with a funding gap.
“We are not doing politics with the cocoa producer price, if we are, we would have fallen for what the opposition parties are saying, which they are asking the government to increase the price, but we are not” he said.
He stated that government is weighing the cost against the possible effects, which are the environmental effects, social effects and the sustainability of the cocoa industry.
According to Mr. Boafo, the effects are huge on the cocoa industry, but the government has determined to maintain the price to sustain the industry at the expense of the benefits the government will get from the cocoa industry.
The Deputy Ranking Member of the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Chereponi constituency in the Northern region, Mr. Samuel Abdulai Jabantiye who also spoke on the show said the Minority in Parliament do not agree with the advice the IMF is giving to the government.
According to Mr. Abdulai Jabantiye, if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is a listening government, then, they should not take the advice of the IMF for sake of the cocoa farmer’s interest.
He said there are other incentives that are not forthcoming to the cocoa farmers, and if the producer price is reduced further, it will push many cocoa farmers from the cocoa industry which will have serious repercussions on the country’s already deteriorating economy.