Minority demands immediate increase in farm-gate price of cocoa

The MPs stated that the recent surge in global cocoa prices, reaching an unprecedented high of $10,000 USD per ton, has been attributed to a shortage in cocoa supply, particularly from Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, which collectively contribute 70 percent of the world’s cocoa production.

The statement emphasized the adverse impact of this decline on the livelihoods of Ghanaian cocoa farmers, whose already precarious economic situation is worsening due to the sharp reduction in cocoa production.

The Minority caucus underscored the necessity for immediate action to mitigate the financial strain faced by cocoa farmers, whose incomes are failing to keep pace with soaring global prices.

Drawing attention to the vast disparity between the current international market price of cocoa and the farm-gate prices paid to Ghanaian farmers, the statement accuses the government of neglect and exploitation.

While cocoa is being sold at approximately GH¢8,125 per bag on the world market, the Minority said Ghanaian farmers receive a meager GH¢1,308, a fraction of the true value of their labor.

Furthermore, the statement condemned the mismanagement and corruption within the cocoa sector, citing instances of exorbitant administrative expenses and wasteful spending by COCOBOD, the country’s cocoa regulatory body.

The Minority caucus asserted that such extravagance, exemplified by the recent approval for the purchase of expensive iPad keyboards, reflects a disregard for the plight of cocoa farmers and exacerbates the sector’s financial woes.

Highlighting the detrimental impact of smuggling on Ghana’s cocoa industry, the statement warns of dire consequences if immediate measures are not taken to address the root causes of the crisis.

Urgent action is called for to salvage the cocoa sector from collapse and restore confidence among cocoa farmers.

In conclusion, the Minority demanded swift intervention from the government to raise cocoa farm-gate prices in line with international market trends.

By aligning prices with global standards, the government can incentivize cocoa production, deter smuggling, and safeguard the livelihoods of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has clarified that the proposed purchase of 15 keyboards at a cost of GHȼ4,500 each for board members is still under consideration and has not yet received approval.

The request, outlined in a memo endorsed by several individuals in positions of authority, including a recommendation for the supplier, has garnered attention on social media, with many ridiculing the proposal.

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