Ignore cocoa price propaganda against government – Kennedy Osei Nyarko

Cocoa farmer
Cocoa farmer

Kennedy Osei Nyarko, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru in the Eastern Region, has urged the public to ignore false information spread by the NDC about recent developments in the cocoa sector in their routine attempt to deceive the public.

This is in spite of the excitement experienced by cocoa farmers following a rise in the price of cocoa over the weekend.

Kennedy Osei Nyarko stated that the NPP’s recent announcement to raise cocoa prices and move the cocoa production season to September rather than October was done so that farmers would have timely access to finances and would be able to fulfill their financial obligations on time.

“At least during my time as deputy minister of Agric who was in charge of cocoa I was involved in the cocoa price determination and the syndicated loan negotiations so I know how it’s determined or arranged. It’s very unfortunate that the NDC which has been in power before and are very much aware of how season prices are determined or arrived at are rather the ones throwing dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian cocoa farmers. Ghana had always used forward sales arrangements since we started selling our cocoa beans on the international market. It’s very unfortunate that we have turned virtually everything in this country into politics, ”He wrote on his official Facebook wall.

He claimed that a rise in cocoa prices would not only result in an increase in the income of cocoa farmers but would also enable them to use the additional funds to raise their standard of living, make investments in their farms, and take care of other financial needs while lessening their sensitivity to economic shocks, resulting in a more stable and secure way of life.

The price of cocoa at the producer level has increased by 63.5%, from GH12,800 per metric tonne (GH800.00 per bag) to GH20,943 or $1,821 per metric tonne, or GH1,308 per bag.

The new cocoa producer price in Ghana is the highest among the West African sub-regional cocoa-producing nations in 50 years.

The estimates, according to President Akufo-Addo, were based on the obtained Free-On-Board (FoB) price of $2,600 per tonne from the forward sales of cocoa, with an exchange rate of GH11.50 to a dollar. He made the announcement in Tepa, in the Ashanti Region.

Eric Opoku, the minority spokesperson for agriculture and cocoa affairs, is adamant that the NPP government cannot claim to have done anything unusual at a time when cocoa prices have reached record highs on the global market.

The lawmaker argued that the opposition National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) allegations that the government had underpaid cocoa growers were untrue and unsupported by actual events.

The Minority group in Parliament also says the government should have increased the price of a bag of cocoa by no less than GH¢2,500, while the NDC who have also congregated at Ahafo says the NPP could do better with the current producer price.

According to the former Deputy Minister of Agriculture , Ghana’s record-breaking crop production of 1,045,500 metric tonnes (1,045,500) in the 2020–21 growing season came under the NPP administration, while the over million tonnes the country produced under the NDC administration were the result of spillover effects from the interventions made by the NPP administration under President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Therefore, he claimed, it was inappropriate to determine what one believed should have been the producer price using the current spot price on the global market.

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