Agriculture, and for that matter cocoa, has been one of Ghana’s economic backbones over the period since pre and post independence.
The Ivory Coast and Ghana are the two largest producers of cocoa in the world, accounting for more than 50 percent of the world´s cocoa. In 2016, the Ivory Coast alone produced approximately 1.6 million metric tonnes of cocoa beans and is still doing great.
Ghana’s cocoa production for 2017 stood at about 880 metric tonnes, with the government targeting the one million mark by the close of this year.
It is important also to know that cocoa continues to be one of the country’s major contributors to its Gross Domestic Products (GDP), even with the oil find.
The Chronicle, in its today issue, reported the rejection by farmers of the cocoa producer price offered them by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), insisting that it is does not meet their expectations.
Whilst The Chronicle admits the falling world price of the product, we seek to say a word for the cocoa farmers on whose toils Ghana hopes to achieve its revenue targets on cocoa.
It is worth saying that the cocoa farmer is faced with a number of factors that seek to be disincentives to increased productivity.
Whilst the producer price has remains stable for a considerable period of time, inflation, interest rates and other economic indicator keep changing.
The cocoa farmer is expected to go to the same market to purchase things with the salaried worker and every other individual in the country. Additionally, they have to purchase their raw materials such as fertilisers, cutlasses and the rest at prevailing prices, which are influenced by inflation and other factors.
Whilst The Chronicle sympathises with the government over the falling world cocoa price, we also believe that the affairs of cocoa farmers should be prioritised.
The government should be able to find money elsewhere to cater for the aspirations of the farmers, even if it means sacrificing a need for same.
The farmers are asking for GH¢500 instead of the GH¢475.00 being offered by COCOBOD to the farmers.
Ghana’s economy is still agrarian, and we need the input of cocoa farmers to make the 1 million target we envision.
Motivation of these farmers cannot, therefore, be overlooked.
COCOBOD must put the interests of the farmers first and pay heed to their demand in order to motivate them to give off their best.