The government has maintained the producer price of cocoa for the 2017/18 season at GH¢7,600.00 per tonne, the same as paid to farmers in the 2016/17 season.
This is equivalent to GH¢475.00 per bag of 64-kilogram gross weight.
The prices which took effect from 13 October, marks the beginning of the 2017/18 crop season.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, who is the Chairman of the Producer Price Review Committee, said the price was maintained despite the drastic decline in cocoa prices on the international market.
The price of cocoa on the international market has witnessed a dramatic decline to a ten year low of $1,900 from $3,000 per tonne in recent months, forcing some countries to reduce the producer prices paid to farmers.
This, he said, was having a telling effect on the finances to the extent that government was losing about $1.1 billion a year due to the fall in prices.
Dr. Akoto said the government had, however, decided to maintain the price in order to eliminate the harsh effects of the drastic decline in international cocoa prices on the earnings of the hardworking cocoa farmers.
“The huge drop in the world price of cocoa has reduced revenues to an extent that the stabilization fund is not enough to cushion farmers and other stakeholders in the domestic value chain. Therefore, the government has sacrificed its share of Free on Board (export duty) in order to keep the producer price at GH¢7,600.00 per tonne,” he said.
Dr. Akoto said the Committee had also approved other rates and fees for stakeholders with the margins, rates, and charges seeing reductions over last year’s levels due to the price drop.
He indicated that government had intensified measures, including hand pollination and small-scale irrigation in Cocoa, aimed at increasing the productivity of cocoa farms and improving the efficiency of the operations of COCOBOD.
Other measures were rehabilitation and replanting of over-aged cocoa farms and farms that had been affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.
Dr. Akoto said the government was working to accelerate the processing, utilisation, and consumption of cocoa in Ghana.