The minority in parliament is demanding a 50% upward adjustment of producer price of cocoa for farmers.
The producer price of cocoa for the 2013/2014 crop season has been maintained at the old price per ton of 3, 392 Ghana cedis.
According to the Producer Price Review Committee, the decision to maintain the producer price for this season was based on the consistent reduction in the world market price of the produce last year.
Addressing the press the minority spokesperson on agriculture and cocoa affairs Dr. Afriyie Akoto said the increase is necessary because of the increasing cost of living and rising inflation.
“There is an urgent need for a substantial increase in the price paid to our cocoa farmers.” He said.
It is the policy of Government to pay cocoa farmers at least 70% of the projected, free on Board (FOB) price to the farmer.
He says the smuggling of cocoa from the country to neighbouring Cote d’ivoire and Togo has reached alarming proportions because of the unattractive producer price.
“The reduced price incentives and the withdrawal of subsidized fertilizers under the high-tech and pesticides under the mass spraying is having a negative impact on cocoa production and encouraging the mass smuggling of cocoa” Dr. Akoto explained.
According to reports from the border areas the 64 kilogram bag of cocoa is selling at 240 Ghana cedis whiles the same in Ghana is 212 Ghana cedis.
Dr. Akoto said the continuous depreciation of the cedis will still encourage more smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring countries.
Cocoa production for the past three years has witnessed gradual decline from about 900 thousand metric tons to a little over 700 thousand metric tons.