Despite the slump in world cocoa prices, government has assured that it will maintain its prices to Ghanaian farmers to incentivize them to increase production.
World Cocoa prices have dropped drastically over the last year from about 3,000 dollars per metric ton to 1,800 dollars on the London Stock Exchange.
Government has however stated that it will maintain the current price to farmers after contracting a 200 million dollars loan at 21 percent to cover the cost.
Currently, cocoa farmers in Ghana receive about GHS475 per 64 kilogram bag of cocoa seed.
Speaking to newly sworn in members of the Cocoa Marketing Company, the Minister for Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto stated that government is working to cover for the shortfall.
“At the moment, the price Ghana is paying to its farmers is just blow the price that we are getting on the exchange. So it gives us a very little room to maneuver. A year ago, the world price of cocoa was around 3,000 dollars per metric ton on the London Exchange. As we speak to you now, it is not even up to 1,900 dollars, that is a substantial drop of more than one-third of the price”.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto lamented that the previous government lost a golden opportunity to build the infrastructure needed for the sector as the price became stable.
“The price has stood around 3, 000 dollars for nearly three and half to four years. In spite of all the comments made by the previous governments at the time that prices were lower,” he remarked.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto accused the John Mahama administration for misappropriating proceeds from the industry, resulting in the challenges being faced now as the world prices further take a dip.
He therefore tasked the new board of directors of the Cocoa Marketing Company to work hard to improve the revenue for the country.
The members of the Board of Directors are Anthony Osei Boakye, Dr. Emmanuel Osei Tuffuor, Charles Nornoo, and Dr. Johnson P. Asiama,
The rest are David Nii Klotey Collison, Dr. K. Mensah-Aborampah and Joseph Kobina Essidu as Chairman.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana