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Farmers Grumble Over New Cocoa Price   
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The increment of GH5 in the new cocoa prices has sent farmers of the commodity grumbling.

The farmers were expecting a higher price but had their hope dashed when government announced the marginal increase, prompting them to express their displeasure.

Government on Friday announced an upward review of the producer prices of cocoa from GH¢200 to GH¢205 per bag of 64 kilogram gross weight.The new figure for the 2011/2012 cocoa season translates to GH¢3,280 per tonne as compared to the previous price of GH¢3200.

Although most of the farmers are not content with the new price, they say they have no option than to hope for a rise in value on the world market. The new prices took effect on Friday but farmers who spoke to this reporter were not pleased and have hinted that they wished for more.

Nana Adjei Damoah, Deputy National Chief Farmer, described the new increment as scanty but hinted that farmers appreciated it as the prices of the commodity on the international market had fallen.

“It is too little but we appreciate the fact that in two years, government has increased the price of a bag of cocoa from GH¢1,200 to over GH¢200.”

Given the fact that the farmers have been assured of a review of the price quarterly based on developments on the international market, he urged farmers to work hard and contribute towards the achievement of production targets set by the Cocoa Board.

During the last season, the price review committee reviewed the prices of cocoa upward twice in the year in line with developments on the international commodity market.

Alhaji Alhasan Bukari, National chief farmer of the Ghana cocoa, coffee and sheanut farmers association, urged farmers to embrace the new price.

“We were expecting more but in business, sometimes, you win or lose,” he said while attributing the new price to development on the global market.

Alhaji Ali Issaka, Vice President of the Licensed Cocoa Buyers noted that the new prices would inure to the benefit of farmers since there was no increase in the buyer’s margin.

“We are worse of as we will pay more” he said.

Since the last season, the general cost of production of both farmers and the licensed buyers as well as other operators such as the haulers and warehouse operators have gone up.

The Minister of Finance and economic planning, Dr Kwabena Dufuor, who announced the new prices in Accra, stated that the buyer’s margin, hauler’s rate, warehousing and internal marketing costs as well as fees for disinfectants and scale inspection had been maintained.

Tony Fofie, Cocobod Chief Executive, stated that the board had set a target of between 850,000 and 900,000 tonnes of cocoa production.

“We have to be cautious when we talk about forecasting as we may have too much rain or dry season and that could affect production.”

Cocobod exceeded its one million tonnes production target originally marked for 2012 last year.
Source: Emelia Ennin Abbey/D-Guide

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