The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has responded to claims by the former president, John Mahama, that cocoa farmers are being shortchanged by the recent increase in farm-gate prices of cocoa.
The COCOBOD said the post by John Mahama was shrouded in error and has generated some level of misconceptions and miscommunications from the public.
According to him, it is imperative that he responds and clears those misconceptions.
In a public letter addressed to John Mahama on September 12, 2023, he said, “Since you have had the privilege of being in government before as the number one gentleman of the country, it is expected that you would be familiar with the process for determining the producer price of cocoa. I am, therefore, surprised that you chose, rather erroneously, to use the current international market price of cocoa at $3,600 per tonne as the basis for your calculation in your post on the recently announced producer price.”
He explained that Ghana’s cocoa beans are mostly sold forward.
This means that the 2023/24 crop was sold between October 2022 and March 2023 at international prices; ranging between $2,200 per tonne and $2,400 per tonne.
The international price of cocoa then began to increase in April 2023, when a greater percentage of the 2023/24 crop had already been sold.
“The forward sale strategy enables COCOBOD to give farmers a guaranteed producer price and raise the syndicated loan offshore to pay farmers promptly for their produce,” he said.
Joseph Boahen said in the 2015/16 season, the NDC-led administration announced a producer price of GH₵6,800 per tonne.
This was 61.71% of the gross FOB of $2,900 per tonne at the time, not the 66.06% as you alluded.
“This cannot be said to be better than the 70.03% achieved for the 2023/24 season,” he stated.
See the full letter below