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COCOBOD’s CEO criticises Mahama in an open letter

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COCOBOD boss schools Mahama in open letter

The CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has sent an open letter to former President John Dramani Mahama in response to the latter’s recent social media post criticising the new cocoa price.

Mr Mahama, who has previously served in government, should, according to Joseph Boahen Aidoo, evaluate “the broader context before passing judgement” while campaigning for the welfare of cocoa growers.

“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,” Mr Boahen Aidoo wrote in the open letter dated Tuesday, September 12.

“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.”

Find the open letter below:

OPEN LETTER TO FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA

Dear Mr. Mahama,

I have read your post on social media following the announcement of the Producer Price of cocoa, and it has become imperative to address certain misconceptions and misinformation arising from your post. While advocating for the welfare of our hard-working cocoa farmers is essential, it is equally important to approach the issue in good faith and consider the broader context before passing judgement.

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.

Reasons

1. 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.

2. The forward sale strategy enables COCOBOD to give farmers a guaranteed producer price and raise the syndicated loan offshore to pay farmers promptly for their produce.

3. The international price of cocoa as alluded to is quoted on a CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) basis, which includes insurance and freight, albeit COCOBOD receives only the FOB price (which is the cost of beans only). Insurance and freight are received by the insurance companies and shipping lines respectively.

4. Additionally, Mr. Mahama, Ghana produces both the Main Crop size category of beans (big-sized cocoa beans) and the Light Crop size category of beans (small-sized cocoa beans). The light crop beans are sold at a discount; ranging from 20% to 40% on the international market. The FOB price received by COCOBOD from the international market is therefore the weighted average price of both the main crop and light crop beans. This situation depresses the average weighted FOB price received by COCOBOD for the two crop categories (main and light crop beans) which form the basis for the determination of the producer price for cocoa.

5. For the 2023/24 season, the weighted average FOB achieved by COCOBOD was $2,600 per tonne.

6. Contrary to your assertion that the producer price of GH₵1,308 per bag for the 2023/24 season is paltry, the current producer price translates to $1,821 per tonne, which is 70.03% of the Gross FOB of $2,600 per tonne.

7. In the 2015/16 season, the NDC-led administration announced a producer price of GH₵6,800 per tonne. This was 61.71% of the gross FOB of $2,900 per tonne at the time, not the 66.06% as you alluded. This cannot be said to be better than the 70.03% achieved for the 2023/24 season.

It is significant to note that the operational cost of COCOBOD for the 2023/24 season is about 4% of the gross FOB, hence, the rest of the share of the FOB goes into industry costs,
LBC margins, and transportation.

Generally, the operational cost of COCOBOD has hovered around 4% to 5% of gross FOB since the NPP took over government.

It is also worth noting that the government, through COCOBOD, has invested heavily in productivity-enhancement programmes such as mass spraying, pruning, hand pollination, rehabilitation of diseased farms and the subsidized fertilizer programmes.

The implementation of the productivity-enhancement programmes has led to an increase in the productivity of cocoa farms from an average of 450 kilos per hectare in the 2015/16 season to an average of 650 kilos per hectare in the 2022/23 season.

This has led to an increase in the income of cocoa farmers.

It is my considered view that this explanation would be a useful guide and source of information in your future engagements on the topic.

Your friend and former colleague,

HON JOSEPH BOAHEN AIDOO
CHIEF EXECUTIVE

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General News

Menzgold: NAM1 enters a not guilty plea to allegations of money laundering, fraud, and other offences

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In 2019, the Attorney General launched an inquiry on NAM 1, accusing him of scamming hundreds of clients out of millions of Ghana cedis through his gold dealership enterprise. The case was adjourned numerous times until new charges were brought on August 30, 2023. Mr Appiah Mensah stated plans to unfreeze locked up cash of Menzgold clients in exchange for 650 for verification. Following that, he altered his intention to force former clients to obtain a verification access card in order to authenticate transactions and confirm claims, despite substantial public and consumer outcry.

Nana Appiah Mensah, the former CEO of Menzgold, also known as NAM 1, has pleaded not guilty to all 39 charges of wrongdoing.

Nana Appiah Mensah, widely known as NAM 1, was charged with 39 counts of crimes, including money laundering abetment, deceiving by false pretences, carrying out deposit-taking without the required licence, unlawful deposit-taking, and money laundering.

This is a decrease from the 61 counts originally filed against him.

In 2019, the Attorney General launched an inquiry on NAM 1, accusing him of scamming hundreds of clients out of millions of Ghana cedis through his gold dealership enterprise.

The case was adjourned numerous times until new charges were brought on August 30, 2023.

Mr Appiah Mensah stated plans to unfreeze locked up cash of Menzgold clients in exchange for 650 for verification.

Following that, he altered his intention to force former clients to obtain a verification access card in order to authenticate transactions and confirm claims, despite substantial public and consumer outcry.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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Limited Voter Registration: Two people detained for attempting to register twice

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Meanwhile, some party operatives are pleased with the outcome thus far.

Two people were detained in Asokore Mampong Municipality for allegedly attempting to double register in the current Limited Voters’ Registration Exercise.

According to Municipal EC official Angela Afriyie Osei, the two suspects were apprehended after being validated as people existing in the Electoral Commission’s database.

As a challenge to the procedure, Madam Angela Afriyie mentions duplicate registration and efforts to register minors.

“The challenge we have been facing is about the double registration. At times when applicants come and we interrogate them, they insist he or she hasn’t registered before but when they go to the biometric column then it will come out that the person has registered.

“At the moment, we’ve handed two to the police. On male and a female. Another issue is also with the registration of minors,” she indicated.

Meanwhile, some party operatives are pleased with the outcome thus far.

“So far, we are satisfied with the entire process except some few challenges but that aside, we are very much comfortable with the process. All in all, everything is great,” an agent told JoyNews.

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Black Sherif prophesy: Prophet Nigel Gaisie makes u-turn

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"We see in bits and pieces, and what I saw in the spiritual realm is Sherif Black, but any logical person can make projections and deductions from it." If I hear a prophecy about Ako and my name is Akosua, I will definitely act on it," he said in parables. Regardless, the man of God exhorted those who were convinced of the prophecy to fast and pray in order to avoid death. Prophet Gaisie, who dismissed charges that his doom prophecies concerning celebrities are only for fame, stated that he will quit making them public in order to prevent insults and derision.

Nigel Gaisie, the founder and head of the Prophetic Hill Chapel, has stunned Ghanaians by backtracking on his prophecy regarding artist Black Sherif.

Prophet Gaisie had a vision in which he witnessed the mother of musical sensation Black Sherif sobbing excessively in a post on his official Facebook page.

As a result, he pushed the musician to seek safety before December, implying his impending death.

However, in a recent interview, Prophet Gaisie clarified that the prophecy is for a particular Sherif Black and not the Konongo-based performer.

“We see in bits and pieces, and what I saw in the spiritual realm is Sherif Black, but any logical person can make projections and deductions from it.” If I hear a prophecy about Ako and my name is Akosua, I will definitely act on it,” he said in parables.

Regardless, the man of God exhorted those who were convinced of the prophecy to fast and pray in order to avoid death.

Prophet Gaisie, who dismissed charges that his doom prophecies concerning celebrities are only for fame, stated that he will quit making them public in order to prevent insults and derision.

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