You’ve got no credibility to challenge Mahama on cocoa pricing issues – Sammy Gyamfi to COCOBOD CEO
The National Communications Officer for the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi has rebuked the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo for taking on former President John Mahama over his critique of the government’s decision to raise the price of a bag of cocoa to GH¢1,300.
Mr Mahama who is also the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) described it as a rip-off of hardworking cocoa farmers.
But in an open letter dated September 12, 2023, the COCOBOD CEO on former President 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.”
But reacting to the impasse on Metro TV on Thursday, Sammy Gyamfi said the COCOBOD CEO lacks the credibility to contradict Mr Mahama on such an issue.
According to him, the COCOBOD made profits under Mahama but under the leadership of Mr Boahen Aidoo the institution has been recording losses since this government came into office.
“So President Mahama says if you’re getting ¢2,500 on the international market for every bag of cocoa, then you’re shortchanging the farmer by giving him just ¢1,308 which in percentage terms is 52.7%, not 70.5%.
“So President Mahama knows better than Boahen Aidoo which is why under his leadership COCOBOD made a profit of ¢319 million in 2014, ¢152 million in 2015.”
“Boahen Aidoo knows next to nothing about cocoa which is why under his leadership for six consecutive years together with President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia has collapsed COCOBOD and made consecutive losses for six years in the history of COCOBOD. So he has no credibility to challenge President Mahama when we are talking about cocoa prices.”
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate resignation of Mr Boahen Aidoo.
The Minority says Aidoo has mismanaged the cocoa sector and has worsened the plight of cocoa farmers. They argue that he is no longer fit to occupy the position of CEO.
Speaking to journalists in the Ashanti Region, Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said the cocoa sector is collapsing despite an announcement of a 68 per cent increase in the producer price.