If the government doesn’t raise the price of producing cocoa for the 2022–2023 growing season, cocoa farmers in Gyampokrom, in the Sefwi Juaboso District of the Western North Region, have threatened to “smuggle” their cocoa products to Ivory Coast.
They want the price of a bag of cocoa, which is now 66 dollars, increased to 1,200 dollars.
Farmers claim that they are not exempt from the effects of the current economic climate. Despite this, the price of agricultural materials, labor, and other services has skyrocketed.
In order to avoid selling their cocoa to the Ivory Coast, they pleaded with the government to raise the price.
“We harvest large quantities of cocoa in this area but do not any benefits from our work. We engage in several farming activities and cultivate varieties of crops; yet, we are unable to afford our children’s education.
“We have heard that the cocoa business is now lucrative in Côte d’Ivoire so if the government does not increases the prices for us, we would export the products because fortunately for us, we are close to the Ivory Coast border,” they hinted.
President of the Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms, Ayisi Kumah Thomas Kwesi, has called on the government to take a critical look at the situation of farmers as they continue to live in extreme poverty.
“Today, due to the deteriorating living conditions of cocoa farmers, farmers under compelling circumstances sell out their cocoa farms to galamsey operators. The illegal miners are buying and destroying cultivated lands, forests and water bodies.
“It is predictable that should this trend continue, galamsey activities may throw farmers away from their homes. We wish to emphasise for the attention of Cocobod and, for that matter, government that cocoa farmers are growing poorer and poorer; they are now vulnerable than before.
“They deserve no less than 100% increase in farm gate prices, beginning the 2022/23 season,” he stated.
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