Cocoa farmers in Gyampokrom in the Sefwi Juaboso District of the Western North Region have threatened to ‘smuggle’ their cocoa products to Ivory Coast if the government fails to increase the cocoa producing price for the 2022/23 season.

They want a bag of cocoa, which currently sells at ¢660.00, to be adjusted to ¢1,200.00.

According to the farmers, they are not spared with the current situation of the economy. Notwithstanding that, the cost of farm inputs, labourers and other services have outrageously increased.

They appealed to the government to adjust the price or else they will sell their cocoa to the Ivory Coast.

“We harvest large quantities of cocoa in this area but do not benefit from our work. We engage in several farming activities and cultivate various crops; yet, we cannot afford our children’s education.”

“We have heard that the cocoa business is now lucrative in Côte d’Ivoire so if the government does not increases the prices for us, we would export the products because fortunately for us, we are close to the Ivory Coast border,” they hinted.

President of the Coalition for Cocoa Sector Reforms, Ayisi Kumah Thomas Kwesi, has called on the government to take a critical look at the situation of farmers as they continue to live in extreme poverty.

“Today, due to the deteriorating living conditions of cocoa farmers, farmers under compelling circumstances sell out their cocoa farms to galamsey operators. Illegal miners buy and destroy cultivated lands, forests and water bodies.

“It is predictable that should this trend continue, galamsey activities may throw farmers away from their homes. We wish to emphasise for the attention of COCOBOD and, for that matter, a government that cocoa farmers are growing poorer and poorer; they are now more vulnerable than before.”

“They deserve no less than 100% increase in farm gate prices, beginning the 2022/23 season,” he stated.