A spontaneous jubilation greeted the announcement of a new producer price for the 2023/2024 cocoa season by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at Tepa in the Ahafo-Ano Municipality on Saturday. The President had to take a break in his speech for about five minutes as the elated farmers rushed in front of the podium to express their excitement about the quantum increase of the producer price. It took security details present to restrict some of them from climbing the podium in their joyous mood. 'Today, cocoa prices have increased from GHC 12,800.00 to GHC 20,943.00 per tonne and GHC 1,308.00 per bag, the President announced. This translates into 63.5 per cent increase from the current price of GHC 800.00, making it the highest to be paid to cocoa farmers across West Africa in some 15 years, according to the President. To address the current challenges of the cocoa sector, government has introduced a number of innovative policies hinged on three pillars - resilience, competitiveness, and robustness. President Akufo-Addo said COCOBOD had rolled out a contributory scheme under the new three-tier pension scheme for cocoa farmers, adding that enrolment had started and would continue to capture more farmers in the coming seasons. He disclosed that COCOBOD would contribute GHC 74.5 million to the fund this year and the expectation was that the scheme would enable cocoa farmers to contribute towards their retirement. 'The government will continue to honour our farmers with good prices in the years ahead. Indeed, better days are ahead,' he assured cocoa farmers. He said the cocoa landscape was witnessing unprecedented transformation under his leadership, saying that COCOBOD was implementing series of transformational projects which were having positive impacts of productivity, incomes, and climate resilience. These, he said, would not have been possible without the hard work and determination of cocoa farmers who remained the most reliable stakeholders in the entire cocoa value chain. Mr Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of Agriculture, said cocoa was an extremely important commodity driving the development of the country. He said the Ministry was mindful of the roles of farmers whose toils and sweats were sustaining the cocoa sector for the benefit of the nation. 'Ghana continues to pride herself as a global leader of cocoa production and the world's best producer of quality cocoa beans because of the resolve and determination of our farmers,' the Minister acknowledged. He also spoke about the challenges confronting the cocoa sector including smuggling and illegal mining and expressed his determination to tackle them head-on.
Source: Ghana News Agency