The Centre For Agro Liberty (CAL), a policy research organisation, is calling for a review of the pricing of cocoa so that farmers can determine their own price for the cash crop. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyie, recently announced that the government will maintain the producer price for cocoa at GHS475 per bag of 64 kilogrammes. However, the Minority has accused the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Ministry of Agriculture of using a doctored exchange rate of 4.54% to determine the cocoa price instead of using the Bank of Ghana's rate of 4.8%.
According to the Minority, if the government is using the formula used by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, a bag of cocoa will stand at GHS 682.61 Commenting on the development in the cocoa sector, CAL said in a press statement that: “We need to emancipate cocoa farmers from the long-standing policy of a government-controlled institution that fixes the price for cocoa in Ghana because this gives the farmers no choices of whom to sell to.
“It is time cocoa farmers priced their own cocoa, formed associations and exported their produce for dividends”. The statement, which was signed by Danso Abiam Ernest, an Executive Director of CAL and released on Tuesday, 9 October 2018, highlighted that: “The Government of Ghana has disappointed cocoa farmers because they do not understand why the prices of cocoa have been maintained since 2016 to the 2019 season.
The government has to allow cocoa farmers to price their own produce, like cashew and any other cash crops. COCOBOD should be the tax regulator instead of it controlling and fixing the purchasing price of the crop”.