Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is calling for a relook at government’s decision to peg the producer price of cocoa at 7,600 cedis for cocoa farmers.
The move, according to him is due to declining price of the commodity on the world market.
Cocoa price has fallen by over 30 percent from 2,950 dollars per tonne in 2017 to about 1900 dollars.
Government decided to maintain the producer price to Ghanaian farmers despite Ivory Coast reducing its price.
Already, government is said to have lost about one billion dollars due to the sharp decline of the price of cocoa since 2016.
Speaking to journalists on the issue, Ken Ofori-Atta was of the view that maintaining the price won’t be sustainable.
“I think it is a fundamental question that we may need a national conversation on. If you have cocoa prices at maybe 2,900 dollars a tonne and it plummets to 1,800 dollars a tonne, and you have pegged your produce price at 7,600 cedis, you have a problem,” he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta insisted that there must a more productive way to hold and sustain the cocoa sector since it is critical to the economy.
“Can the country continue to subsidize that, I think there needs to be some real sober minds thinking through how we will liberalize it. It’s a quandary but I think it’s a national conversation to be had,” he said stressing that the current move cannot go on.
“When you have lost 40 to 45 percent but then you still paying then we need to take a relook at the issues. So those are some of challenges that we have as a nation. There are 65,000 farmers are very important to us”.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana