Ghana and Cote D’voire are joining forces to develop a road map to fix a common floor price for cocoa produce.
The move is to help generate more income for farmers to alleviate poverty among them in both countries and also make the sector lucrative for the youth.
At the opening of a two day stakeholder engagement , Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said the farmers deserve better living conditions as their efforts contribute immensely to the development of the economy.
Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire supply about 65 percent of the World’s cocoa, however it is no hidden secret that cocoa farmers are one of the poorest people, despite the huge income they bring to both countries.
In Ghana, Cocoa farmers are estimated to earn a per capita daily income of about USD 0.40-$0.45 on their produce.
The price of the produce which is normally decided on supply and demand levels can result in varying levels of volatility on commodity prices.
It is for this reason that President Akufo Addo and his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara called for this stakeholder engagement to find ways for the two countries to discuss proposals on setting up a common Floor Price mechanism to address the high income disparity in the cocoa value chain.
Vice President Bawumia bemoaned the fact that wealth distribution is uneven along the supply chain in the cocoa sector adding that Poverty levels among cocoa farmers who are at the root of both the supply and value chain continue to raise concerns.
He was hopeful that both countries will reach a consensus to build a formidable front for the sector.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, also said despite the efforts of cocoa farmers, they are the most vulnerable in the society, stressing that time has come to change the conditions of these farmers while stimulating the interest of the youth in the sector.
He said this dialogue will go a long way to factor out a payment system to ensure a decent standard of living for the cocoa farmers. He added that the erroneous impression that cocoa farming is not lucrative must be addressed.
The outcome of the meeting will be used as a benchmark for both Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire to guarantee better income for farmers.