The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has expressed optimism that the ‘cocoa producer price’ for the 2019/2020 crop year will come as good news to cocoa farmers.
He said he trusts that in deciding the cocoa producer price, the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC), which is responsible for setting the price for each season, will be mindful of the need to improve the living standards of cocoa farmers.
The PPRC is expected to reach a decision by the end of the current cocoa season and in time for the upcoming 2019 Cocoa Day to be held in Sunyani on October 1, to open the 2019/2020 crop season. The President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo will officially announce the new producer price at the event.
The crop season which follows the immediate upcoming one (2020/2021) will bring into force the jointly negotiated floor price and Living Income Differentials by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo said this when he addressed farmers at a rally on the first day of a three-day Ashanti Regional tour to engage cocoa farmers on efforts being made by the COCOBOD in ridding cocoa farms of diseases and pests, as part of improving the cocoa industry as a whole.
In addition, he noted that the COCOBOD is providing fertilizers and pesticides through the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) to farmers as a means to increase yields.
As part of efforts to ascertain the outcome of the implementation of some COCOBOD Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) and interventions, the Chief Executive and his entourage were joined by the Ashanti Regional management team to visit four out of twelve districts to hold farmers rallies.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo met with over 10,000 cocoa farmers on the first day of the regional tour. In response to some of the concerns, he disclosed that 367 roads have been outlined under the cocoa roads programme in consultation with the Feeder Roads to ensure that the roads are constructed to ease transportation challenges and improve cocoa farmers’ livelihoods.
The Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control, Dr. Emanuel Dwomoh Agyemang, charged the farmers to join farmer cooperative associations for easy accessing of cocoa inputs and also use the platform to source for funding from financial institutions.
The Director of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation at COCOBOD, Mr. Vincent Okyere Akomeah, on his part, called on cocoa farmers to inform COCOBOD of areas where there are no schools so that the Board can liaise with Ghana education service to provide one.
The Dompoase Abusuapanin and Chief of Konka, Nana Kwabena Ponkoh, encouraged farmers to be keen on the spraying teams during mass spraying exercise in order to maintain the machines. “When you check on the sprayers and how they handle the spraying machines, the machines are likely to last long,” he added.
He charged the farmers to hire pollinators on their own to augment what COCOBOD and government are doing for them to increase their yield.
The first day of the tour took them to Antoakrom, Obuasi, Atobiase, and Brofoyedru all in the Ashanti Region.