Briefing the media at a press conference in Accra, the Deputy Minister for Finance Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson(MP) said, as compared to the previous season , the amount represents an increase in price of Gh?1, 200.00 per tonne or 21. 74%.
This he said, translate into Gh?420 per bag of 64Kg gross weight, which represents about 73 percent of the net FOB.
According to him, COCOBOD and the Government have decided to pay bonus to farmers at the time of sale of their produce.
“Accordingly , an additional amount of Gh?5.00 per bag of 64kg gross weight weight , has been approved. Therefore , for each bag of 64Kg gross weight of cocoa, sold by the farmer shall be paid Gh?420.00 per bag plus 5.00 as bonus. LBCs are to take note of this and pay our cherished farmers accordingly”, he stated.
He also asked LBCs to ensure that farmers are paid at the time of sale of their produce Gh?425 per bag of 64 Kg gross weight. This he noted that, brings the price and bonus per tonne of cocoa to Gh?6, 800.00 which is equivalent to about 74 % of the net FOB.
“The new price takes effect from today , Friday , 2nd October , 2015” he announced.
According to the sector Minister, Government in consultation with stakeholders , set up a Stabilization Fund with annual contributions from FOB price as a risk mitigating mechanism against declines in international cocoa prices.
Adding that, the primary objective of the Fund was to apply it to sustain the earnings of cocoa farmers in challenging times as experienced during the 2013/14 cocoa season.
He said, the PPRC has decided to continue with the Fund to be able to cushion farmers in case the world market price begin to decline.
The Minister emphasized that, the Government will continue to support other interventions including the free pests and disease control (Naira) programme , free fertilizer distribution programme in order to enable farmers increase the productivity of their cocoa farms.
“Government/COCOBOD commits to continue with the rehabilitation and replanting of over aged cocoa farms and farms that have affected by the swollen shoot virus disease. In this regard , COCOBOD will raise and distribute 60 million hybrid seedlings to farmers for free during the 2015/16 planting season”, he noted.
According to him, COCOBOD , as part of its corporate social responsibility has initiated the Child Education Support Programme to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. Adding that, the programme will ensure that schools in cocoa growing communities are rehabilitated and new ones built in communities where there are no schools.
This will therefore provide opportunities for children living in deprived cocoa growing communities to have access to quality education.
Again, he said Government /COCOBOD will continue to provide scholarships to the wards of cocoa farmers in government assisted second cycle schools.
Government will also continue to support COCOBOD in its drive to attract the youth into cocoa farming through Youth in Cocoa programme .
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh