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Business and Economics

Government announces increase in Cocoa Producer price

Accra , Oct.  2, GNA -The government on Thursday announced an increase in the Producer Price (PP) of cocoa to GHc6,720 per tonne from GHc5, 520 per tonne for the 2015/2016 season, which opens on Friday October 2, 2014.

Accra , Oct.  2, GNA -The government on Thursday announced an increase in the Producer Price (PP) of cocoa to GHc6,720 per tonne from GHc5, 520 per tonne for the 2015/2016 season, which opens on Friday October 2, 2014.

     The figure translates into GHc420 per bag of 64kg gross, representing about 73 per cent of the net Free On Board (FOB) price.

     Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, addressing the press on Friday in Accra, said the government and Cocobod had decided to pay bonus to farmers at the time of sale of their produce, adding that, an additional amount of GHc5.00 per bag of 64 kg gross weight had been approved.

     He said for each bag of 64 kg gross weight of cocoa sold by the farmer, the farmer shall be paid GHc 420.00 per bag plus GHc5.00 as bonus and urged  Licensed Buying Companies (LBC’s) to take note and pay farmers accordingly.

     The Deputy Minister said this brings the price and bonus per tonne of cocoa to GHc6,800, which is equivalent to 74 per cent of the net FOB and urged all LBC’s to comply with the directive.

     He said the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) had decided to continue with the stabilization fund to cushion farmers, should the world market price begin to decline in the future.

     The PPRC also approved other rates for all other stakeholders in the industry, including buyers’ margin, haulers’ rate, warehousing and internal marketing costs as well as fees for disinfestations, grading and sealing.

     Mr Forson said the margins, rates and charges had been increased over last year’s levels in order to ensure that other key stakeholders operate at profitable levels to sustain the cocoa industry.

     He said the government would continue to support other interventions, including the free pests and diseases control for farmers and the free fertilizer distribution programme, to enable farmers to increase their  productivity.

     He said government has committed itself to continue with the rehabilitation and replanting of over aged cocoa farms and farms that have been affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.

     In this direction, Mr Forson said Cocobod would raise and distribute 60 million hybrid seedlings to farmers for free during the 2015/16 [lanting season.

     He said COCOBOD had also put in place a child education support programme, which aims at rehabilitating and building new schools in cocoa growing communities to enhance access to quality education.

     Mr Forson said government would also continue to support Cocobod in its drive to attract the youth into cocoa farming through its Youth in Cocoa Programme.

      Dr Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive Officer Cocobod, projected cocoa purchases of between 850,000 and 900,000 tonnes in the new season, adding however that, the estimates were subject to a review.

      “This year if all factors will be favourable especially the weather, we are expecting 850,000-900,000 tonnes,” he said.

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