The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has responded sharply to former President John Dramani Mahama’s criticism of the government’s decision to raise the price of a bag of cocoa to GH₵1,300.
Mr. Mahama characterized the government’s move as “insensitive” to the concerns of farmers, asserting that the increase fell short of expectations.
In an open letter dated September 12, 2023, the COCOBOD CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo called upon Mr. Mahama to acquaint himself with the process involved in determining the producer price of cocoa.
Mr. Aidoo clarified that during the 2023/24 season, cocoa was traded between October 2022 and March 2023 at international prices ranging from $2,200 to $2,400 per tonne.
“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,” the letter reads.
Mr. Aidoo explained that Ghana’s cocoa beans are predominantly sold in advance. Consequently, the 2023/24 crop was traded between October 2022 and March 2023 at international rates, ranging from $2,200 to $2,400 per tonne. The global price of cocoa began its ascent in April 2023, a period when a significant portion of the 2023/24 crop had already been transacted, as stated in COCOBOD’s release.
“You are fully aware 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”.