Minority demands increase in farm-gate price of cocoa
April 3, 2024

The Minority in parliament has demanded the immediate increase in the farm-gate price of cocoa following soaring cocoa prices on the international market in recent time, hitting an all-time high of $10,000 USD per ton.

The price hike is occasioned by the global shortage of cocoa because of significant decline in cocoa output in Ghana and Cote D’ Ivoire, the two leading cocoa producers that contribute approximately 70 percent of the total volume of cocoa produced globally.

The Minority, thus raised concerns about the rather sharp decline in Ghana’s cocoa production volumes under the current government with a reported 450,000mt for the 2023/2024 crop season; the lowest in the past two decades. This is said to even get worse in the coming year.

The Minority in a statement on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 signed by the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Eric Opoku noted that the decline in Ghana’ cocoa production is fast eroding the incomes and purchasing power of the already-impoverished cocoa farmers, a situation that calls for a significant increase in the farm-gate price of cocoa to compensate for the loss in income of farmers.

“It is instructive to note, that the average international market price of cocoa currently stands at Ten Thousand United States Dollars ($10,000) per ton (16 bags) of cocoa. This is a equivalent to GHS130,000 per ton, at a conservative exchange rate of $1 to GHS13. This means a bag of cocoa is currently being sold on the world market at about GHS8,125, while the Ghanaian farmer is being paid a paltry 1,308 by the insensitive and corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government.”

This, the Minority described as a rip-off of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer by the government; and demand the immediate increase to reflect the recent unprecedented hikes in the world market prices of cocoa.

The Minority also called out the government for the gross mismanagement of the cocoa sector and the shortchanging of the cocoa farmers; stating that last year, Ghana lost about 150,000mt of cocoa valued at almost $400,000,000 to smuggling because the government failed to offer competitive prices to the farmers.

Also worrying is the fact that while the cocoa farmers continue to be shortchanged, COCOBOD’s administrative cost keeps increasing from GHS500 million in 2016 to GHS1.7 billion in 2020, and ballooned further to GHS2.5 billion in 2021.