Accra, June 24 GNA - The Majority Caucus in Parliament has said claims by the Minority NDC Caucus attributed to the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, that prices of cocoa would not be increased due to the fall in world market price of the commodity was not true.
According to them, the Producer Price Review Committee was the only body mandated by law to set the price of cocoa, and that was what the Chief Executive reiterated.
Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjaye, Chairperson on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs was speaking at a press conference organised by the Majority NPP in reaction to the Minority’s conference on Monday 18, 2017 in Accra.
The Minority on Monday organised a press conference and accused Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of COCOBOD among other things that the Chief Executive cocoa was usurping the mandate of the Producer Price Review Committee when he was not clothed with that power and also how much has been accumulated to the Cocoa Stabilization Fund.
Mr Asafu Adjaye also refuted claims by the Minority that the Cocoa Stabilisation Fund was setup on October, 2014 under the NDC government but rather on 2007/2008 Cocoa Season under President Kufuor’s administration.
He explained that the Cocoa Stabilization Fund was set up by government as part of measures to guarantee stable income for cocoa farmers, that is to maintain prevailing producer prices in the event that the net FOB price fell drastically.
He said the creation of the fund therefore underpinned government’s commitment to reduce the exposure of cocoa farmers to price volatility on the world cocoa market.
Mr Asafu Adjaye further clarified that it was unfortunate for the Minority to assume that the fund was set-up to increase the producer price of cocoa, but rather a standby fund which ensured that irrespective of how low cocoa prices fell on the world market, Ghanaian farmers do not suffer a reduction in producer price.
He cited for example that in 2012/13 and 2013/14 crop seasons, following a drastic fall in world prices of cocoa, COCOBOD used the Stabilization Fund to maintain the producer price of cocoa per tonne at GH¢3,392.
Mr Asafu Adjaye also refuted claims by the Minority that the Cocoa Fertilization Distribution Programme, otherwise known as Cocoa Hi-Tech Programme was introduced under President Mahama’s regime but rather in 2004 which brought a lot of successes in terms of production output.