The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has replied the Minority in Parliament saying that the Cocoa Stabilization Fund, was not set up to ensure an increase the producer price after a fall in world market prices.
It noted that, the Stabilization Fund “is neither to be used to increase producer price nor pay bonuses as stated by the Minority in Parliament, but rather as the name implies to stabilize prices to the farmers.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”mAyUYSXwhCPbL3yD1RnJX6iIlF2mhxPa”]“The Stabilization Fund is rather a standby Fund which ensures that irrespective of how low cocoa prices fall on the world market, Ghanaian farmers do not suffer a reduction in producer price,” COCOBOD explained in a press release.
COCOBOD thus said it was erroneous to assume that “the Fund was set up to increase producer price,” and explained that “the Stabilization Fund is rather a standby Fund which ensures that irrespective of how low cocoa prices fall on the world market, Ghanaian farmers do not suffer a reduction in producer price.”
The Cocoa Stabilisation Fund was set up to guarantee stable income for cocoa farmers, and maintaining the prevailing producer price in the event of price falls so Government does not reduce the producer price.
The Minority in Parliament at a press conference on Wednesday, however accused the government of not looking out enough for cocoa farmers because of its decision not increase the cocoa producer price due to a fall in world market prices.
The Minority argued that, the government must utilize the cocoa stabilization fund established by the previous government, to cushion farmers instead of the insensitive approach the COCOBOD intends to use.
The Minority referenced media reports with the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo saying that government will not increase the producer price of cocoa and bonuses for the 2017/2018 crop cocoa season, following fall in prices.
Despite the claims, COCOBOD insists that it has not taken any concrete decision on the matter and could still use the stabilization fund to cushion the farmers.
It noted that in the “2012/13 and 2013/2014 crop seasons, following a drastic fall in world prices of cocoa, COCOBOD used the stabilisation to maintain the producer price of cocoa per tonne at GH¢3,392.00. It is, therefore, not out of place for COCOBOD to take similar measures in the 2017/18 crop season to avoid a total collapse of the cocoa sector and to sustain cocoa farmer’s interest in the industry.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana