The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has denied media reports that it plans to increase the producer price paid to cocoa farmers in the 2019/20 cocoa season to GH¢8,000 per tonne. It said beyond the reports being untrue, they were premature as the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC), which met every year to fix the farm gate price, was yet to meet and take a decision.
The Head of Public Affairs of COCOBOD, Mr Fiifi Boafo, who said this in an interview on August 8, thus advised cocoa farmers, industry stakeholders and the general public to disregard the reports.
“The information out there is not true; no decision has been made and we are yet to call for PPRC meeting and that is about a month away.
“So nobody has the right, mandate and information to determine what the price will be, and we want the public to disregard any information to the contrary,” he told the Daily Graphic in Accra.
Mr Boafo was reacting to media reports that COCOBOD planned to increase the price paid to cocoa farmers for every tonne of cocoa purchased from the current GH¢7,600 to GH¢8,000 in the next cocoa season.
Since the 2015/16 cocoa season, the producer price has been maintained at GH¢7,600 in spite of a more than 40 per cent fall in the price of cocoa per tonne in the global market.
The PPRC meets around August and September of every year to review and announce a new price.
The committee’s decisions are based on global price of the crop, cost of production and the prevailing exchange rate, among others.
Representatives of the committee are drawn from the Ministry of Finance, Agriculture, COCOBOD, cocoa, farmers and licensed cocoa buyers (LBCs), among others.
Mr Boafo said until the PPRC determined and announced a price, COCOBOD would not “engage in speculation which does not benefit the farmers in whose interest we are working”.
He said the board was currently concentrating on implementing the floor price mechanism which was recently achieved after series of negotiations between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on one side and the cocoa buyers, suppliers, traders and processors on the other.
The mechanism requires that all buyers of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire cocoa add an extra US$400 to every tonne of cocoa purchase.
The amount is to be known as living income differential and is meant to cushion farmers against price shocks.