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By Abigail Ahorgba, Hohoe
Cocoa farmers in the Volta and Oti Regions have expressed gratitude to the government and the management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for increasing the producer price of cocoa by 21% for the 2022/2023 crop year.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Nana Kwame Abass, the Volta and Oti Regional Chief Cocoa Farmer said, he and colleague farmers in the regions were pleased with the increment. “We say thank you to the government, the President and COCOBOD”, he said.
The Chief Farmer expressed optimism that things would improve in the current cocoa season as a result of the increment which, he said, has far exceeded the expectations of farmers in the country.
Nana Kwame Abass made these comments at a stakeholder meeting held in Hohoe in the Volta Region.
The new price, which was announced by the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) on Tuesday, 4th October 2022 raised the price of the 64kg bag of cocoa from GH¢660 to GH¢800, which translates to GH¢12,800.00 per tonne of cocoa.
According to Nana Abass, although a small faction of the coco farmers is agitating and have attempted to influence farmers to kick against the new price, cocoa farmers in the Volta and Oti regions are more than pleased. He believes the new price will go a long way to motivate them to give off their best.
The Chief Farmer further advised his colleagues to avoid smuggling cocoa beans and other farming inputs to neighbouring countries. He described as unpatriotic, persons involved in cocoa smuggling.
The head of COCOBOD’s security in the Volta Region, Mr. Wisdom Dalali Amexame, also used the meeting to address some misconceptions made about farmers in the region to the effect that the increase will not deter them from conniving with persons involved in cocoa smuggling.
According to him, the Gh¢800 per bag of 64kg given by the government for the current crop year is a fair deal which must be welcomed by all. He said the impression formed about cocoa farmers in the Volta Region which alleges their complicity in cocoa smuggling is unfounded and must be disregarded by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
“Some people from other Regions actually use the Region as a transit point for smuggling and not our farmers themselves”, he said.
Mr Delali again advised farmers to desist from comparing Ghana’s cocoa price with those of other producing countries, describing what pertains in the country’s system of regulating the industry as extremely different from what happens elsewhere.
“Ghanaian farmers are, in addition to the producer price, supported with laudable interventions, such as, pests and diseases control, rehabilitation of cocoa farms, free distribution of seedlings, subsidized fertilizer supply, free extension services, artificial hand pollination, among other efforts which are aimed at increasing yield and improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers, their families and communities”, he indicated.
Representatives of various state security agencies and other para-security units called on the farmers to keep their cocoa within the corridors of Ghana since any attempt to smuggle the beans outside the country would not be countenanced. They hinted of a more enhanced security arrangements to curtail the smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring Togo.
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