Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has responded to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) call for a reduction in the producer price of Cocoa, saying it cannot reduce the price.
The IMF has advised government to reduce the producer price of the commodity to reflect changes in international cocoa prices.
But in an interview with sit-in host Akwasi Nsiah on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM, the manager in charge of the Ghana Cocoa Board CEO’s office, Fiifi Boafo insisted the current threshold cannot be reviewed downward to the disadvantage of the poor farmers who are already complaining of the price.
“It’ll not be in our interest to reduce the price to impoverish the farmers. They have contributed their quota to the development of the nation and we must shore up to keep them afloat. Secondly, we’re losing our cocoa lands to illegal small scale miners(galamsey). You’ll realise that most of the cocoa growing areas are enclaves where there are increased activities of illegal mining. The illegal miners are lobbying out the poor farmers to take over their cocoa farms for their activities. If the local farmers are losing out in the cocoa farming, there is good motivation for them to release their lands to the galamseyers and make good money instead of the peanuts they get from the farming because of low prices. This consequently is a threat to the sustainability of Cocoa production in the country’’ Mr. Boafo opined further.
He added ‘’even though we are struggling to support farmers, the government and COCOBOD are poised to give the farmers a relief and find other means to clear the funding gap.”