The Member of Parliament for Bodi, Samson Ahi has described government’s decision not to increase the producer price of for the 2018/2019 cocoa season as “heartless”.
Mr Ahi’s comments come after government announced on Monday that it cannot increase the producer price because of the current world price of the beans which has been on the decline.
This means Ghana COCOBOD will buy the beans at GH¢7,600 per ton, the same as it did for the just ended crop season.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of COCOBOD
Mr Ahi told Kwame Minkah, host of Ghana Te Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1 that the government is cheating the cocoa farmers who he says are already suffering from the mismanagement of the economy.
He said in the last season, the government sold the cocoa beans for a market price of $2180 per ton but selling same for $2,200 per ton in the 2018/2019 crop season, contending that government could have slightly increased the price of cocoa this year.
“This government is stealing from the poor farmers,” he said while condemning the decision to retain the old price for this crop season for the farmers, but rather increase the salaries of workers of the COCOBOD.
“Government says times are hard so we should all sacrifice and help, but government keeps increasing the salaries for workers at the COCOBOD Headquarters, Quality Control Board and CMB for the past three years…You increase Quality Control workers’ salaries, increase Bohen Aidoo’s salary, come to tell us that you can’t increase that of the farmers but tell them to tighten their belts, then it is mere thievery,” he fumed.
Meanwhile, a deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Cocoa Affairs, Kennedy Osei Nyarko has debunked claims by critics and the Minority that government has cheated on cocoa farmers by refusing to increase cocoa price for the cocoa season.
The Minister also explained that the decision to peg the 2018/2019 cocoa season price with that of the neigbouring Ivory Coast is to discourage people from smuggling cocoa to and from these two countries.
But the Minority, who have thrown away those claims from the government, are lacing their boots to hold a press conference in the Goaso areas in the Brong Ahafo Region today, to respond to the issue.