Managing Director (MD) of the Cocoa Marketing Company, Joe Forson, has rubbished the Minority’s claims that government is shortchanging cocoa farmers by deciding to maintain the producer price of cocoa for the 2018/2019-crop season.
The minority has accused government of being insensitive to the plight of cocoa farmers, after it maintained that the producer price of cocoa at GH¢7,600 per tonne, translating into GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilogramme (kg) gross weight.
The decision to maintain the price of cocoa means the industry regulator will buy a tonne of cocoa beans for GH¢7,600 from cocoa farmers for the 2018/2019 crop year; same as it did for the just ended crop season.
The minority believes government was failing cocoa farmers who contribute so much to the economy by choosing “an unrealistic exchange rate” for the farmers.
Minority spokesperson for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, rehashed the concerns of the minority, adding that Ghana’s cocoa currently sells at a premium of $350 to $500 dollars
“Per the data we have available, we have noticed that government cocoa sells at a premium and the premium ranges from $350 dollars to $500 dollar,” he said.
However, Joe Forson in a sharp rebuttal dismissed Ato Forson’s claim, saying the latter was only conjuring figures to create the impression that government was cheating cocoa farmers.
“The Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) is responsible for the sale of Ghana’s cocoa and they determine the premium for Ghana’s cocoa and we have never achieved 350 dollars per ton. You are conjuring figures. The premium is between $120 or $130. This figure cannot be right. They are just lies,” he added.
He noted that Ghana currently offers cocoa farmers one of the best prices within the sector, adding that the exchange rate has little impact on the prices.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Ken Osei Nyarko, also refuted Ato Forson’s claims, describing them as “palpable lies.”
Story: Kofi Owusu Tawiah
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