Cocoa farmers will earn more for their produce in the next cocoa season than they currently receive for the same output of beans in the ongoing season.
It follows plans by the government, through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), to raise the Cocoa Producer Price (CPI) paid to cocoa farmers by more than 21 per cent for the 2020/21 season.
The 21 per cent increment will translate into GH¢625 per 64-kilogramme bag of cocoa beans, compared to the GH¢515 being paid for the same quantity of beans in the ongoing season.
For a tonne of cocoa beans, the 21 per cent increment means that farmers will receive a minimum of GH¢10,000 for their produce.
Currently, a tonne of cocoa is GH¢8,240.
A highly placed source at COCOBOD told the Daily Graphic yesterday, that the increment would be announced in the first week of October to coincide with the opening of the next cocoa season.
Living Income Differential
The source, who pleaded for anonymity, said the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) was currently undertaking the relevant consultations, after which it would formally announce the new price.
It said the increment in the price paid to farmers for their produce was the result of the living income differential (LID) that the government, through the board, adopted.
The initiative, introduced jointly by Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, the two lead producers of cocoa globally, last year, requires buyers of cocoa from the two countries to add $400 to every tonne of cocoa beans purchased.
The countries are hopeful that it will help raise the incomes and improve the livelihoods of farmers.
When contacted, the Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Mr Fiifi Boafo, would not confirm or deny the projected increment in the amount to be paid to cocoa farmers to the Daily Graphic.
He, however, said he was aware that farmers would enjoy a substantial increase in the amount of money they received for their produce.
He said following the successful implementation of the LID, the board had raked in additional money that it would use to pay farmers next season.
He expressed the hope that the additional income through increased prices would help augment the incomes of farmers against challenges.
He said the board was optimistic that the increase would motivate farmers to produce more to help increase output, while raising their own incomes.
Mr Boafo, however, said farmers and licensed buying companies (LBCs) had started hoarding cocoa beans to sell to the board after the new price had been announced.
He said the practice started in March and April and had persisted up till now, resulting in the board not getting additional beans to supply to processors of the beans.
He said while the board appreciated the resolve of farmers to earn higher incomes for their produce, it was not right for them to hoard the beans, especially when that action was impacting negatively on supplies to processors.
He, therefore, appealed to the farmers and especially the LBCs to rescind their decision and supply beans to COCOBOD for onward sale to processors.
As the cocoa season approaches, cocoa farmers have stepped up their call for an increment in cocoa price in the upcoming cocoa season.
The farmers claim the cost of production has increased significantly and it is, therefore, prudent that COCOBOD, and for that matter the government, respond with a price increment.
In the 2019/2020 cocoa season, COCOBOD increased the cocoa producer price for a bag (64kg) from GH¢475 to GH¢515, representing an 8.42 per cent adjustment.