Eric Opoku — Ranking Member, Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs
Eric Opoku — Ranking Member, Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs
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Increase farm-gate price of cocoa for farmers - Minority to govt

The Minority in Parliament has called on the government to increase the farm-gate price of cocoa to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers in Ghana.

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It argued that increasing the farm-gate price of cocoa in line with the current world market price would motivate farmers and discourage smuggling of cocoa in Ghana.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs, Eric Opoku.

The Minority criticised COCOBOD's management for prioritising other purchases such as iPad keyboards for board members at the expense of cocoa farmers.

It also criticised the current farm-gate price paid to cocoa farmers following the recent unprecedented hike in world market prices. 

"A bag of cocoa is currently being sold on the world market at about GH¢8,125, while the Ghanaian farmer is being paid a paltry GH¢1,308 by the government," the statement indicated.

Impact 

The Minority expressed concern over the decline in Ghana's cocoa production under the government, noting that the 2023/2024 crop season was expected to be the lowest in two decades at about 450,000 metric tons. This decline, it said, was detrimental to the incomes and purchasing power of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

"The living conditions of Ghanaian cocoa farmers keep worsening by the day due to the sharp decline in cocoa output," it said.

The Minority also accused the government of mismanagement, leading to losses in the cocoa sector.  

According to the Minority, Ghana lost about 150,000 metric tons of cocoa valued at almost $400,000,000 to smuggling last year, due to farmers not being offered competitive prices.

The statement also called for urgent action to save the cocoa sector from further decline.

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