Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has explained why the government has decided to protect the interest of cocoa farmers despite unfavourable world pricing of the commodity.
According to him, the government “couldn’t reduce our cocoa price because the productivity is low in Ghana and it would have caused the farmers to lose interest and will motivate farmers to relinquish their cocoa farmlands for illegal mining, rubber and cashew plantations to the detriment of the cocoa industry.”
To Mr Aidoo, a decision to decrease cocoa prices in Ghana in the recent past would have marked the beginning of a collapse of cocoa farming in Ghana.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show, Mr Aidoo said the decision to maintain the price was based on environmental and social impact that outweighed the economic effect.
“A survey by the Board found that substantial amounts of cocoa lands in the Eastern region and the former Brong Ahafo region had been lost to cashew and rubber plantations, leading to a decline in contribution to national output from those areas.
“When you go to Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region, the large tracts of cashew farms you see there now used to be cocoa farms, but because of the low productivity and loss of interest in cocoa farming, farmers started converting their farms to cashew farms,” he added.