Producer Price Of Cocoa Goes Up | 33 Percent
Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - The producer price of cocoa for the 2010/11 season has gone up by 33.33 per cent, Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor announced in Accra on Tuesday. The new price is GH¢3,200 per tonne up, from GH¢2,400 per tonne. A bag of 64 kg gross weight will sell at GH¢200. This represents 75.15 per cent of the net Free on Board (FOB) price. Dr Duffuor said the new price will take effect when the season opened on Friday, October 1, 2010. The Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Producer Price Review Committee, said the new price was agreed to fight the high incidence of smuggling and motivate farmers to produce more to attain the target of one million tonnes by 2012. The committee also approved other rates and fees for the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) in the industry. The fees include the buyers' margin, hauliers' rate, Cocoa Marketing Company's internal marketing costs, as well as fees for disinfestations, grading and sealing as well as scale inspection. Dr Duffour said to further reward the hardworking farmers, Government had directed the Ghana Cocoa Board to work out and pay bonuses to farmers on the 2009/2010 main crop and ensure that the payment of the bonus is effected before December 2010. The plans must be done and submitted to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning for approval within a week, the minister said. The committee also agreed to continue funding the Cocoa Farmers' Housing Scheme and the Cocoa Farmers' Pension scheme and asked COCOBOD to expedite action on the modalities for implementing the pension scheme. Mr Anthony Fofie, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, said the projection for cocoa purchases in the season is 700,000 tonnes. As at September 24, provisional figures for purchases for the 2009/10 season stood at 632,024 tonnes. Mr Fofie said the new price would address smuggling and motivate farmers to produce more in the coming season. "The new price is a two-prong approach to stem smuggling by addressing the price differentials between Ghana and her neighbours and to improve the quality of life of cocoa farmers," he said. Mr Fofie said the Board was still working on the modalities for the Pension fund. Nana Agyei Kramo, Volta Region Chief Cocoa Farmer, welcomed the new price, saying it was a good response from government to cocoa farmers' request and expressed the hope that the new price, in addition to other incentives, would stimulate farmers to produce more.
Source: Ghana News Agency