The Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers (GNACOF) has described the 64 percent increase in the producer price of cocoa announced by the government as woefully inadequate and that farmers will likely continue to smuggle cocoa to Ivory Coast where prices are higher.
GNACOF President Stephenson Anane Boateng said the government needs to do more to discourage smuggling, which is a major problem in the cocoa sector.
“The price in Ivory Coast is GH¢1,450 per bag, and if our government increases our cocoa price to GH¢1,308, then we are nowhere,” Boateng said. “People will continue to smuggle their cocoa just because the price compared to even the previous one is not up to their level.”
Boateng also said that cocoa farmers no longer trust politicians to deliver on their promises.
“We as cocoa farmers no longer trust any politician,” he said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the 63.6% increase in the farm gate price of cocoa beans on September 9, from GH₵800 to GH₵1,308 per bag for the new cocoa season.
The increase came after cocoa farmers intensified calls for an upward review of cocoa prices to prevent the prevalence of smuggling and the situation where cocoa farmers give out their lands to illegal miners.
However, Boateng said that the government’s latest increase is still not enough to discourage smuggling.
He called on the government to do more to address the root causes of smuggling, such as poverty and lack of access to affordable credit for cocoa farmers.