Good morning ladies and gentlemen and our friends from the media. Thank you for responding to our invitation at this short notice. We are grateful for such an enthusiastic display of patriotism.
We are farmers from different parts of the Western North Region. We have gathered here purposely to extend our candid appreciation to the President H.E. Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo not only because of the increase we have witnessed in the Producer Price of Cocoa despite the decreases in prices on the international commodity market but also because the much anticipated $100 million Cocoa Processing Factory will be built in Sefwi Wiawso our regional capital.
Ladies and Gentlemen, before the 2017/2018 crop season, farmers were paid 70% of the Net Free On-Board (FoB) Price. Currently, the government through the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC), is paying 75% of net FoB price to us farmers.
Secondly, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to not only for increasing the percentage (75%) paid to the farmers but for also increasing the 2019/2020 producer price by more than 8% when conditions on the international market proved otherwise. We want to thank the National Chief Farmer and the rest of PPRC for recognising the need to improve the standard of living of Cocoa Farmers through increasing the producer price.
It is worthy to note that farmers in Ghana receive the highest FOB price in the sub-region.
Ladies and gentlemen, the International price of Cocoa on the commodity market has witnessed some unprecedented decrease. From $2950 per ton in 2015, it is now sold at $2300 per ton. Therefore, for a government to increase the price of a bag of Cocoa from GHS475 to GHS 515 despite the decrease in the international market, means the government deserves nothing but commendation.
We must also not forget that, at the time Ivory Coast was forced to slash the price of cocoa as a result of a decrease in the price of cocoa at the world market, Ghana under the able leadership of Nana Addo still maintained the GHC 475 per bag.
Ladies and gentlemen, we would want to use this opportunity to also commend the government and the Ghana cocoa board for the numerous intervention which has been introduced to boost cocoa production.
In anticipation of the World Market Price volatility and mindful of the plight of the farmer, COCOBOD has put in place productivity improvement schemes in Spraying, Fertilization, Providing Subsidy and Hand Pollination aimed at improving the current 450kg/ha to a minimum of 1500kg/ha.
Also, the rehabilitation and compensation to farmers who have had their cocoa trees cut down as a result of swollen shoot disease, pruning of affected cocoa trees, and free distribution of plantain suckers to cocoa farmers concerning have given we the farmers a huge relief. It may surprise you to know that some farms in the Western North Region are recording 36 bags or 2.25mt/ha due to the pollination exercise.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in July this year, the president announced the establishment of a $100million cocoa processing factory. The Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso has graciously given lands to the government in this regard and work is progressing in this regard. We as farmers in the region and know the full benefit of the factory will like to express our gratitude to Government and the Cocoa board for recognising the contributions of the Western North as the third-highest cocoa producing region in the country.
Lastly, like Oliver Twist, we ask for more to be done. We encourage the Ghana Cocoa Board to increase its hi-tech chemicals. We also encourage the government to do more in climbing down on illegal activities such as smuggling of cocoa farm inputs into neighbouring countries.
We thank you all for your time.
Sefwi Amoaya – Farmer
1. Usman Yakubu – 2017 National Best Cocoa Farmer- 0246941167
2. Bismark Fuachie 2018 Regional Best Cocoa Farmer -WR 0248563364
3. Opani Kwame Koranchie -Farmer 0243357570
4. Emmanuel Ayikwei -Farmer Piase 0204436166
5. Charles Quaicoe Farmer Wiawso 0244120876
6.Kwabena Yanko- Farmer – 0542648298
7. Daniel Awuah-farmer 024352 9226
8. Gladys Assuah – Farmer Bodi 0246767665
9. Op. Adu Kwasi – Farmer Punikrom – 0542769595
10.Mad Akosua Anane- Farmer Amafie
11. Gideon Adamu – Farmer Asanwinso – 0547662418