President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Saturday, announced GH¢1,308 as the new producer price per bag of cocoa at an event at Tepa in the Ashanti Region.
Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo stated that until recently the international price of cocoa had remained very low, made worse by COVID-19; however, in spite of this, COCOBOD and government have made the very hard decision to increase the producer price of cocoa.
“Cocoa prices have increased from seven thousand, six hundred cedis (GH¢7,600) per tonne in 2016 to twelve thousand, eight hundred cedis (GH¢12,800) per tonne in 2022, a significant increase of sixty-eight percent (68%). This has had an adverse impact on COCOBOD’s financial performance,” he said.
Acknowledging that the entire cocoa industry’s sustainability hinges on a well-remunerated producer – who is willing to invest in business only with the certainty that government will pay the appropriate price, the president stated that government in keeping with its promise to cocoa farmers has increased the producer price.
According to President Akufo-Addo: “Government has increased cocoa prices from twelve thousand, eight hundred cedis (GH¢12,800) per tonne to twenty thousand, nine hundred and forty-three cedis (GH¢20,943) per tonne – or one thousand, three hundred and eight cedis (GH¢1,308) per bag. That price is seventy-point-five percent (70.5%) of the Gross FoB price, and equivalent to one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-one dollars (US$1,821) per tonne”.
“This,” the president indicated, “is the highest price to be paid to cocoa farmers across West Africa in some fifty (50) years. With the predicted stable prices above two thousand, six hundred United States dollars (US$2,600) threshold, government will continue to honour our farmers with good prices in the years ahead. Indeed, better days are ahead.”
Describing the cocoa landscape as witnessing an unprecedented transformation under his government, President Akufo-Addo noted that the productivity enhancement programmes being implemented by COCOBOD are having a positive impact on productivity, incomes and climate resilience.
COCOBOD, the president said, continues to undertake rehabilitation of diseased farms free of charge through the programme, explaining that the programme entails a one-off payment of compensation to both the landowner and tenant farmer; and involves cutting, treatment and replanting of the affected farm, and maintenance of the farm for a period of two (2) years before it is handed over to the farmer.
“In addition to a payment of one thousand cedis (GH¢1000) per hectare – compensation paid separately to both landowner and tenant, COCOBOD bears the entire cost of cutting, treating, replanting and maintenance for two (2) years before the farm is handed over to the farmer. Compensation paid to both landlords and farmers stands at one hundred and twelve million, six hundred and eight-six thousand and forty cedis (GH¢112,686,040) as of September 2022,” he said.
COCOBOD, the president noted, has also rolled out a Contributory Scheme under the new Three-Tier Pension Scheme for cocoa farmers. Enrolment has started and will continue, and will thus make way for contributions from farmers and COCOBOD in the coming season.
COCOBOD, he said, is expected to contribute some seventy-four point five million cedis (GH¢74.5million) to the fund this year.
“The Scheme will enable cocoa farmers to also save toward their retirement, so as to guarantee income security, improved living standards in their old age; and also motivate the youth to venture into cocoa farming,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo continued: “This is the first successful attempt at giving effect to section 26(1) of the Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984, PNDCL 84, which provides for setting up the Scheme. This has been made possible because of the cocoa management system’s implementation, which has provided the needed data and digital foundation for the Scheme to be successful”.
Cooperation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the cocoa industry, he stated, has already yielded good results for the industry; following adoption and implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).
“The LID is an additional amount of four hundred United States dollars (US$400) per tonne on the price of cocoa, paid on every tonne of cocoa purchased from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The LID is paid fully to the farmers as a cushion to adverse effects from low international prices of cocoa. The LID has increased average farmers’ income by seven hundred United States dollars (US$700) per tonne. This is the first successful attempt by producer countries to influence incomes of cocoa famers through an international pricing mechanism,” he added.
Government, the president stated, has also rolled out a digitisation programme to digitize all operations of the sector and enhance traceability and efficient management of the domestic supply chain – through a comprehensive, integrated digital database that captures farm and farmer information, including the physical conditions of farms and farmer household characteristics.
Under the industrialisation drive, he indicated that: “Value addition in the cocoa industry has increased significantly, from thirty percent (30%) of annual output in 2016 to forty-eight percent (48%) in 2022. The target of processing fifty percent (50%) of production locally is within immediate reach.”
He continued: “The promotion of domestic consumption is also beginning to yield results. Domestic enterprises have emerged strongly under the 1D1F initiative for the processing and manufacturing of various cocoa based products across the districts. COCOBOD has taken a giant step to support small-scale and artisanal chocolate manufacturing with business-friendly guidelines that provide access to premium Ghanaian beans, even at the district level”.
Through these innovations, President Akufo-Addo noted that some one hundred and thirty thousand (130,000) jobs have been created, reiterating that: “Government will, through COCOBOD, continue to adopt innovations aimed at improving the welfare of Ghanaian farmers through the implementation of productivity enhancement programmes and remunerative producer pricing”.