In Tepa, Ashanti Region, there was a spontaneous outpouring of joy when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the new producer price for the 2023/2024 cocoa season. This exciting announcement took place in the Ahafo-Ano Municipality on a Saturday.
The President’s announcement was met with such enthusiasm from the farmers that he had to pause his speech for about five minutes. Elated farmers rushed in front of the podium to express their excitement about the significant increase in the producer price. Security personnel had to intervene to prevent some of them from climbing onto the podium in their jubilant mood.
President Akufo-Addo revealed that cocoa prices had risen from GHC 12,800.00 to GHC 20,943.00 per tonne and GHC 1,308.00 per bag. This represented a remarkable 63.5 percent increase from the current price of GHC 800.00. It was noted that this increase was the highest paid to cocoa farmers in West Africa in approximately 15 years.
To address the challenges facing the cocoa sector, the government had implemented innovative policies centered around three pillars: resilience, competitiveness, and robustness. President Akufo-Addo also mentioned that COCOBOD had introduced a contributory scheme under the new three-tier pension scheme for cocoa farmers. Enrollment had begun and was expected to encompass more farmers in the upcoming seasons. COCOBOD would contribute GHC 74.5 million to the fund in the current year, with the goal of enabling cocoa farmers to contribute towards their retirement.
The President assured cocoa farmers that the government would continue to offer competitive prices in the years ahead and emphasized that better days were on the horizon. He highlighted the transformation taking place in the cocoa sector under his leadership, with COCOBOD implementing various projects that were enhancing productivity, income, and climate resilience. President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that these positive changes wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of cocoa farmers, who remained integral to the cocoa value chain.
Mr. Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of Agriculture, underscored the vital role of cocoa in the country’s development. He expressed gratitude for the dedication of the farmers who sustained the cocoa sector. The Minister acknowledged Ghana’s global leadership in cocoa production and its reputation as the world’s premier producer of quality cocoa beans. He also addressed challenges such as smuggling and illegal mining in the cocoa sector, affirming his commitment to addressing them comprehensively.