Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has announced that farmers would not enjoy any increase in producer price and bonus for the 2017/18 season.
According to the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the move has been influenced by the significant drop in the price of cocoa beans on the international market.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, has announced the “opening of the 2017 light crop cocoa season”.
A price statement released on Tuesday said, “it is hereby notified for the general information that purchases of the 2017 light crop cocoa season commence on FRIDAY, 9TH JUNE, 2017”.
It stated that “the producer price to be paid at all buying centres is Four Hundred and Seventy-five Ghana Cedis (GH¢475.00) per bag of 64 kilograms gross. This translates to GH¢7,600.00) per tone”.
The bean over the past two years, has reduced from about $3,000 to around $1,900 a tonne, which has resulted in the country losing almost $1 billion in revenue during that period.
Farmers currently, enjoy GH¢7,600 for a tonne of cocoa bean and GH¢475 for every kilo bag of beans, after it was increased by 11 percent last season.
Responding to a question from JOYBUSINESS during a media interaction in Accra, Mr Boahen Aidoo, said farmers are assured of their minimum guaranteed price.
He also added that COCOBOD was carrying out the necessary engagement to ensure that this would not affect production target for next crop season.
The Chief Executive said, COCOBOD was targeting the Asian market to help improve consumption of cocoa products.
It is also planning to soon launch a campaign in Ghana to help improve consumption of cocoa locally. This is part of grand plan to add value to the beans produced in the country.
The COCOBOD boss also disclosed that they would be supplying some beans to Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).
This is part of several strategies the shareholders adopting to help the company which has been going through some challenges this year, while it considers current proposals to de-list the company from the Ghana Stock Exchange.
He also explained that, the COCOBOD has also suspended the cocoa road project because challenges its implementation.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo also said “COCOBOD is seeking funding to undertake an extensive rehabilitation of farms, to be complemented by a hand pollination programme to be launched next week.”
The COCOBOD boss, also revealed that the cocoa buying organisation is heavily indebted to the tune of GH¢ 10 billion.
According to him, the indebtedness happened under the previous administration, adding the situation is impeding the smooth running of the Board.
The other problem, he revealed, is the drop in cocoa beans production.
“Under the J.A [John Agyemum] Kufuor administration, we were producing 1 million metric tonnes of cocoa but now it has reduced to 778,000 metric tonnes. And we are also looking to restoring the glory of the cocoa sector.
“There are other issues we must fix but these are the two major ones I think we must deal with immediately to strengthen the sector,” he said.
He, however, assured that efforts are being made to settle the debt by the end of September.