October 13, 2014

The NPP Minority in Parliament has accused the government of not telling Ghanaians and Cocoa farmers especially the whole truth in the recent increment of the producer price of cocoa in the country.

According to the group, the government has boasted of giving the cocoa farmer his/her due with the increase from GHS 212 per bag of 64 kg to GHS 345 per bag of 64 but the increase is nowhere near the quantum required to compensate the farmers for the huge loss in incomes due to the low prices offered to farmers in the past three years.

The government, in the beginning of October, announced an increase in the Producer Price (PP) of cocoa to GHS5,520.00 per tonne from GHS3,392.00 per tonne for the 2014/2015 season, which opened on Friday October 3, 2014.

The number translates into GHS345 per bag of 64kg gross, which is about 75 percent of the net Free On Board (FOB) price.

Addressing the Press in Accra, the Minority Spokesperson on Agriculture, Dr. Kwaku Owusu Afriyie, stated that the government can do better for the farmers by increasing further the producer price of the commodity.

He demanded that government publish the 2014/15 crop price for cocoa, claiming that the Finance Minister and the President have provided conflicting figures.

“In his statement of 2nd October 2014, the Minister of Finance maintained that the revised price of GHS 345 represent about 75 percent on the FOB. But on 10th October 2014, President Mahama is quoted as saying that the government took the decision to pay cocoa farmers 70 percent of the world market price of the produce… who should we believe, he quizzed”?

Dr Afriyie Akoto noted that the government has done the farmers a lot of injustice by the fact that majority of them no longer benefit from the mass spraying and hi-tech programmes introduced by the NPP administration in 2001.

He added that another injustice is the refusal of the government to pay the production bonuses to the cocoa farmers which have been outstanding in the last three years.

“Contrary to the promise made by President Mahama to Cocoa farmers during his visit to Tepa in the Ashanti Region last May 2014, no mention is made of payment of the outstanding bonuses in the 2nd October 2014 statement by the Finance Minister” he added.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh