THE Western Regional Best Cocoa Farmer for 1994, Nana Adjei-Mensah, has appealed to the government to increase the producer price of cocoa to GH¢200 this year.
He said that measure would help combat smuggling of cocoa from Ghana to La Cote d’Iviore by farmers, since the price of cocoa in Cote d’ Ivoire was higher by GH¢50 than the price in Ghana.
Nana Adjei Mensah made the appeal at a meeting with a cross-section of cocoa farmers at Ayimom, near Jinijini in the Berekum Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
According to Nana Mensah, if the government increased the producer price of the commodity, it would encourage farmers to maximise their output and also reduce their economic hardships.
Nana Mensah urged the government to pay special attention to the control of capsid disease which had been affecting cocoa pods, especially in the Western Region.
He stated that as the capsid and black-pod diseases had reduced cocoa production, there was the need for the government to provide more insecticides and inputs to protect cocoa beans to ensure increased production.
Nana Mensah warned farmers and security agencies along the boarder areas to be very vigilant of unpatriotic people who were smuggling cocoa to neighbour, La Cote d’Iviore.
He said if such bad practice persisted, the government’s “Better Ghana” agenda could not be achieved.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Adjei Damoa, advised the farmers to channel their Akuafo cheques through the banks to save them from fake currency and armed robbers.
The former Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Yaa Badu, also urged the farmers to repay the loans granted them to enable them to benefit from other interventions.
She also appealed to the government to grant more loans to farmers to expand their cocoa farms since cocoa is the bedrock of the nation.
Nana Badu advised the farmers to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by registering with it in their numbers in order to receive affordable and quality health care.