Cocoa Yield Peasant Farmers refuse to share COCOBOD's optimism of a bumper harvest

According to them, COCOBOD's optimism notwithstanding, this year's crop yield projection of 850,000- 900,000 metric tonnes will not be reached.

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The Ghana Cocoa Board has been promising a great harvest for the 2015/2016 crop season.

This was in defence against assertions that the country's cocoa yield will drop given a poor level of  investment in the sector, coupled with the then low purchasing prices given to the local farmers.

COCOBOD would later increase the producer price of cocoa to the tune of 21.74% for the 2015/2016 crop season effective October 2, 2015.

This saw an upward adjustment in cocoa prices  from 350 cedis to 420 cedis on a 64 kilogram bag of cocoa and 6,720 cedis from the previous 5,520 cedis representing an increase of 1200 cedis according to the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC).

Read More: > Incentives Govt. poised to meet cocoa production targets; grants 21% price hike

In a more current development, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana is expressing pessimism about next year's cocoa yields.

According to them, COCOBOD's optimism notwithstanding, this year's crop yield projection of 850,000 to 900,000 metric  tonnes will not be reached.

Read More: > Incentives Govt. poised to meet cocoa production targets; grants 21% price hike

Acting project coordinator of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Charles Nyaba, the actual situation on the ground does not support COCOBOD's assertion.

" Climate change is setting in, rainfall patterns have changed. The weather patterns have also changed. All these affect the kind of yield that we get. So when you project all these, then you need to be able to make a committed investment to mitigate against these kinds of risk. But if you predict all these risks and yet you sit there then I will not be surprised that the crop yield will be one of the poorest we have gotten in a long time." Mr. Nyaba says.

Mr. Nyaba added that the situation will discourage farmers from selling to government or even growing the crop at all.

" It is our plea that government does something about this in order to avert a downward trend in the sector."

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