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Inadequate price hike may drive farmers to smuggle cocoa to Ivory Coast – GNACOF

The Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers (GNACOF) has criticized the government’s recent announcement of a 64 percent increase in the producer price of cocoa as grossly insufficient.

They express concerns that this inadequate price hike may lead farmers to continue smuggling cocoa to Ivory Coast, where prices are considerably higher.

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The President of GNACOF, Stephenson Anane Boateng, emphasized the need for the government to take more significant steps to combat smuggling, a persistent issue in the cocoa sector.

“The price in Ivory Coast is GH¢1,450 per bag, and if our government increases our cocoa price to GH¢1,308, then we are nowhere. People will continue to smuggle their cocoa just because the price compared to even the previous one is not up to their level.We as cocoa farmers no longer trust any politician,” he said.

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Boateng also pointed out that cocoa farmers have lost trust in politicians’ promises, reflecting a growing disillusionment within the farming community.

President Akufo-Addo had announced a 63.6% increase in the farm gate price of cocoa beans on September 9, raising it from GH₵800 to GH₵1,308 per bag for the upcoming cocoa season.

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Despite this increase, Boateng contended that it falls short of effectively curbing smuggling.

He called on the government to address the underlying causes of smuggling, including poverty among farmers and the lack of access to affordable credit in the cocoa industry.

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