|Audio Attachment:Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, announcing the new Producer Price of Cocoa at a stakeholders meeting in Accra.|
The Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, on Wednesday announced an upward adjustment in the producer price of cocoa from GH¢1,632 per tonne to GH¢2,208.00, effective October 14, 2009.
The new figure, which is 71.06 percent of the net FOB price, the highest price ever to be paid in the country, translates to GH¢138.00 per bag of 64 kilogramme gross weight, and a 35.29 per cent increase over the previous price.
Dr Duffuor who announced this at a stakeholders meeting in Accra, said government had approved the new producer price based on the recommendation of the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) that met earlier during the day.
The Finance Minister also disclosed that government had approved PPRC's recommendation to increase the Buyer's margin, Haulers rate, Cocoa Marketing Company's internal marketing costs, as well as fees for disinfestations, grading, sealing and scale inspection.
Dr Duffuor said government had given the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) one week ultimatum to work out the bonuses of farmers on the 2008 and 2009 main cocoa crop season for approval by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
"COCOBOD must ensure that the payment of the bonus is effected before December 2009," he stressed.
The Finance Minister announced that government had established a Social Security Fund for Cocoa Farmers to take effect for the 2009 and 2010 season.
"To this end, GH¢21.43 per tonne has been set aside to start the fund and this will amount to GH¢15 million," he said.
Dr Duffuor said government had directed COCOBOD to complete work on the revision of the Cocoa Sector Development Strategy Document which, according to him, was approved in April 1999 by the government, and to organise a stakeholders workshop to validate the result by the end of January 2010.
"The revised strategy document will dovetail into government's medium term plan being prepared by the National Development Planning Commission," he hinted.
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