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The NPP Caucus in Parliament is asking government to as a matter of urgency restore its policy of awarding cocoa farmers 70 percent of the Free On Board, FOB Price. It is advocating an immediate fifty-point-four percent increase in producer prices to Cocoa farmers. According to the Caucus the sharp devaluation of the Cedis couple with rising interest rates and other economy indicators resulting in the decline of incomes of cocoa farmers underscored the need for the farmers to be cushioned against the hardships being experienced. The Minority Spokesperson on Agric and Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto echoed the Minority Caucus’ demand today/yesterday at a Press Conference in Parliament. He said the present adverse economic situation of cocoa farmers warrant a substantial increase in the price paid to them. For the details here is a report by Our Parliamentary Correspondents Dominic Hlordzi and Augustus Acquaye.
Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto ending a report by our Parliamentary Correspondents Dominic Hlordzi and Augustus Acquaye.
Government reportedly in 2013 decided not to increase the producer price of cocoa to farmers due to decline in the prices of the crop on the international market. According to the Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a close examination of cocoa prices on the international market for some periods does not confirm a drop in dollar prices to justify a freed in the price of the crop. He said the incomes of cocoa farmers have been undermined by the fact that in the 2012-2013 crop season, they were awarded only a token of five percent increase against domestic inflation rate of about ten percent. Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto spoke about current World Prices and some challenges faces by the cocoa farmer.
He lamented about decline in production from one million metric tonnes in the 2010-2011 crop season to 800 thousand metric tonnes. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the reduction in price incentives is encouraging mass smuggling of cocoa across our borders and emphasized the need to incentivize the farmers with better price of their crop.