Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has countered suggestions for a discount in cocoa premiums.
He said the call for a reduction in cocoa premiums is detrimental to the sustainability of the cocoa industry.
“Once premiums are discounted then it means that industry is telling our farmers to also discount the quality of the cocoa,” he added.
The COCOBOD boss, speaking at the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative meeting in Accra, said such a move would deprive consumers of what they want.
“When the origin is discounted, it makes it difficult for Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to get enough to pay their farmers. It will go a long way to undermine the activities of the living income differential (LID).
To have such sustainable cocoa industry, it is imperative that we bring into focus the farmer who is at the central stage of whatever we do. Let’s pay particular attention to the farmer,” he added.
He further noted that the issue of supply management should be tied to demand management, as well as the environmental issues which impact on greenhouse effects and global warming.
He also raised concerns over the low price of cocoa on the international market despite its high demand.
“The price of cocoa, which was $3000 in 2016 begins to fall to $2000 to a ton definitely becomes a disincentive for farmers to continue to remain in the cocoa industry,” he added.
He said COCOBOD, together with Government, had to implement a subsidy of about $400 million a year to help the cocoa farmers stay on course.
Director General of Le Conseil du Café-Cacao (CCC), M. Ibrahima Kone Yves, said the meeting will seek to address the lack of attention given to the sector and the production price particularly, how to boost cocoa production on the continent.