Ghana cocoa farmers set for 21% increases in payment after producer pay review

Ghana’s cocoa trade body, Cocobod, has confirmed that the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) has announced a 21% increase for the levels paid to the sector’s cocoa farmers, rising from GH¢10,560 per tonne to GH¢12,800.00 per tonne, writes Neill Barston.

As industry observers have noted, concerns had been raised by many within the industry that mounting pressure in terms of significant increases to the cost of fertilisers and a sustained pattern of weak crop prices had placed considerable pressure on farmers.

According to Cocobod, the uprated price brings the price of a 64kg bag of cocoa to GH¢800, with effect from the 7th of October 2022, confirmed by Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, who also chairs the PPRC. He said projected cocoa production volumes, expected inflows, industry costs, and the need to properly remunerate cocoa farmers, among other considerations, informed the price adjustment.

Significantly, the PPRC also approved new rates and fees for all other stakeholders in the supply chain, including the buyers’ margin, hauliers’ rate, warehousing and internal marketing costs, as well as, fees for disinfestation, grading and sealing and scale inspections.

“The 21% rise in the producer price of cocoa is a testament to Government’s resolve to ensure farmers earn a decent income and make cocoa farming lucrative. Government will continue to implement initiatives to build a robust, resilient and sustainable cocoa industry where cocoa farmers and their communities will thrive,” Hon. Akoto stated.

Futhermore, Cocobod revealed that the chairman confirmed farmers will continue to receive support through the pests and diseases control programme (Mass Spraying) and rehabilitation of diseased cocoa farms. Further support will come by making the requisite inputs such as fertilisers, available for cocoa farmers to buy to increase farm productivity. Additionally, cocoa farmers will continually be supplied with certified planting materials that are drought-tolerant, early bearing and high yielding.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), he said, has also made available funds, jute sacks and related logistics for the smooth take-off of the 2022/2023 main crop season. He noted that to ensure a decent standard of living for Ghanaian cocoa farmers after retirement, the Cocoa Farmer’s Pension Scheme will move from the pilot phase to the implementation phase, after the completion of the farm mapping and enumeration component of the Cocoa Management System (CMS) by the end of October.

Once completed, the CMS will also establish a national mandatory traceability system which will be transparent and accountable. It will ensure that all Ghana cocoa beans are traceable from the port of shipment to the plot of land that produced the beans.

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