The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has asked the government to focus on improving the overall value chain for cocoa farmers in the country.
It said that though the recent increase in the purchasing price for cocoa had been welcomed, it was essential for the government to explore ways to improve the overall value chain for cocoa farmers.
The PPP said this in a statement signed and issued by its National Chairman, Nana Ofori Owusu in Accra on Wednesday.
According to the the party, by providing access to resources, training, infrastructure, and finance, and empowering farmers through cooperative associations, Ghana can enhance the livelihoods of cocoa farmers beyond relying solely on international price increases.
“Additionally, promoting diversification, value addition, and sustainable farming practices will contribute to the long-term growth and sustainability of the cocoa industry in Ghana,” the PPP added.
Regarding strategies to uplift the livelihoods of farmers, the PPP proposed that there must be access to resources and training, infrastructure development, diversification and value addition, access to finance and credit, empowerment through cooperative associations and sustainable farming practices.
President Akufo-Addo on September 9 announced a 63.6% upward adjustment of the farm gate price of cocoa beans from GH₵800 to GH₵1,308 per bag for the new cocoa season.
According to the president, the increment is the highest in West Africa in the last 15 years.
The president made this announcement at Tepa in the Ashanti Region during the opening of the 2023/2024 cocoa season.
“Until recently, international prices of cocoa have remained relatively low and made worse by COVID-19. In spite of this, the government has made a very hard decision to increase producer prices of cocoa. Cocoa prices have increased from GH¢7,600 per ton in 2016 to GH¢12,800 per ton in 2022. A significant increase of 68 percent. This has had an adverse impact on COCOBOD’s financial performance.”
“However, the sustainability of the entire industry hinges on the producer being willing to invest in the business and be certain that the government repays the appropriate price. The international market is beginning to pick up and the government in keeping with our promise to Ghana cocoa farmers has today increased cocoa beans from GH¢12,800 to GH¢20,943 per ton and GH¢1,308 per bag,” he stated.