Author: Beyonce Diamond Kpogli
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has disputed claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Akufo Addo-led government has shortchanged cocoa farmers with a 63% increase in the producer price of cocoa.
According to the party, a new method was used to calculate the new producer prices, the calculations were done excluding other charges such as insurance and freight.
Also, the government used an exchange rate of 11.50 to a dollar in calculating the prices as against the NDC of 11.30 to a dollar.
The Minority at a forum on Wednesday, September 13, in the Bono Ahafo region descended on the government and Management of COCOBOD, accusing the Chief Executive of running down the institution.
They want the CEO Joseph Aidoo to resign.
But at a press conference in Accra
addressed by the NPP’s Director of
Communications, Richard Ahiagbah said “The accusations by the NDC are mischievous and intentional to confuse farmers”
It would be recalled that on Saturday, H.E Nana Akufo Addo announced the new producer price and this has been greeted with widespread gratification by the entire cocoa community in Ghana.
Mr. Richard Ahiagbah indicated that, under the NPP administration, Ghana recorded its highest-ever production of one million and forty-five thousand five hundred metric tonnes (1,045,500) in the 2020/21 Crop Season.
Therefore, not accurate when the NDC claims that the NPP has a poor track record in cocoa production. “In fact, in their case in 2009, when the country recorded a million tonnes, it was due to the ripple effects of the interventions introduced by the then NPP administration under President John Agyekum Kufuor”.
He underscored that it is only under the NPP administration that producer Price has gone up by 63.5% from GH¢12,800 per metric tonne (GH¢800.00 per bag) to GH¢20,943 or $1,821 per metric tonne, equivalent to GH¢1,308 per bag.
“Ghana’s new producer price of cocoa is the highest in 50 years among the West African sub-regional cocoa-producing countries. It is only under the NPP that Over 30,000 Ghanaians have been employed in cocoa-producing communities that are rehabilitating and restoring affected cocoa farms. The companies handling the rehabilitation intend to add more workers”.
He emphasized that the government is committed to seeing the well-being of cocoa farmers; hence urging cocoa farmers and Ghanaians to dispute the NDC’s claims.