The Ghana COCOBOD has downplayed suggestions that the producer price of cocoa may fall due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
COCOBOD in 2019 increased the producer price of the beans from GH¢7,640 to GH¢8,240 per tonne.
With the global fight against COVID-19, most international trading commodities have seen plummeting prices with cocoa also being affected.
Some have predicted that this may impact the price given to cocoa farmers as Ghana is the second leading producer of cocoa in the world after Ivory Coast.
But speaking to the media, Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said it is too early to suggest a drop in prices for farmers.
“This is a force majeure, and it is one of the factors for every economy. If there is a natural disruption, of course, it can affect some of the planning. But then the decision of the farmer’s price is not a decision of Ghana Cocoa Board or any individual. It always lies in the bosom of the producer price review committee,” he said.
He stated that COCOBOD will wait until the Producer Price Review Committee meets to decide on the price at the farmgate.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo said COCOBOD will go ahead with processes needed to sign this year’s syndicated loan scheduled for August.
According to the regulator of Ghana’s cocoa sub-sector, it is engaging all relevant stakeholders such as banks and traders through audiovisual conference calls to keep the process on track.
COCOBOD normally starts the syndicated processes by February every year.
There have been reports in recent times suggesting that cocoa farmers will be hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as COCOBOD operations grind to a halt.
But speaking to some selected journalists, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said even though shipment of beans has been halted due to the closure of ports, the process of signing a deal with cocoa buyers has not stalled.
“The processes usually starts around February, and so this is the time we should be doing syndication. Of course, because of the challenge, things are not normal, and because of that, a number of interactions have been stalled”.
“But that doesn’t mean the windows are completely closed. As we speak, we are also doing a number of conference calls and we have rescheduled some of the meetings,” he added.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo explained that a team from COCOBOD would have had some meetings with buyers and bankers by now, but the ban on travel has curtailed such moves.