Increase in cocoa prices a rip-off, farmers deserve better treatment – Mahama

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The recent announcement by President Akufo-Addo of a GH1,308 producer price per bag of cocoa has angered former president John Mahama.

The National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer, Mr. Mahama, called it a rip-off of the diligent cocoa growers.

On September 9, President Akufo-Addo highlighted the difficulties experienced by cocoa producers due to low worldwide cocoa prices, which have been made worse by the COVID-19 outbreak, in a speech at a gathering in Tepa.

Despite these challenges, he noted that the government and COCOBOD have chosen to increase the cocoa producer price.

The President outlined the significant 68% increase in cocoa prices from GH7,600 per tonne in 2016 to GH12,800 per tonne in 2022.

He said that the price of cocoa had been increased by the government from GH12,800 per tonne to GH20,943 per tonne, or GH1,308 per bag. This new price, which equals $1,821 per tonne, is equivalent to 70.5% of the Gross FoB price.

This is the highest price paid to cocoa producers in West Africa in over 50 years, President Akufo-Addo noted.

However, John Mahama claimed in a Facebook post on September 11 that the government should have given cocoa farmers a more equal share of the international FOB price given that the price of cocoa reached a 46-year high of $3,600.

He expressed disappointment that the government has chosen to offer farmers a mere GH¢1,308 per bag, which constitutes only 52.7% of the FOB Price on the international market.

“Sadly, government has chosen to give them a paltry GH₵1,308 per bag, which constitutes only 52.7% of the FOB Price of the product on the international market.”

According to Mahama, this is unjust to cocoa growers who have been dealing with more difficulties ever since the NPP took office in 2017.

Mahama noted that in addition to the free fertilizer and free cocoa seedling programs, his administration gave cocoa farmers 66.06% of the FOB Price of cocoa in 2016 while he was in office.

Rather than building on this base, he claimed, the NPP administration “have rather increased the operational expenses of COCOBOD and reduced the international FOB share for the farmers.”

In his opinion, cocoa producers should receive better treatment.

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