Cocoa purchases for the 2009/2010 season came in about 10 % lower than the projected figure of 700,000 tonnes. As of the end of September 2010, provisional figures from the industry regulator, COCOBOD, for both the main and light crop seasons stood at 632,024 tonnes. Earlier, the 33-week main crop season which ended July 2, 2010 saw cocoa purchases drop 8 % in year-on-year terms to 581,436 tonnes, compared to the corresponding period last year. COCOBOD officials have cited smuggling activities of farmers as the cause of the decline. Prices of cocoa are market determined in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire (the world’s biggest producer of the commodity), because that country has a liberalized price regime that allows farmers to sell directly to exporters. In Ghana, the market is regulated with government taking up the responsibility of providing extension services to farmers to ensure good yield and quality beans-the reason Ghana is ranked one of the best producers of quality cocoa beans in the world.

Ghanaian cocoa farmers are currently paid 75 % of the net FOB price while the remaining 25 % is shared among other players in Ghana’s cocoa industry such as the licensed buying companies, the Cocoa Marketing Company and the haulers.

Ostensibly to address the price differentials between Ghana and her neighbour, in the hope of reducing the incidence of smuggling, the producer price of cocoa was increased  33 % for the 2010/2011 main crop season which began October 1, 2010. A tonne of cocoa now goes for GH¢3,200 compared to GH¢2,400 during the same season last year. The new price represents 75 % of the net FOB price, compared to last season’s 71 %.

Government has also directed that bonuses be paid to cocoa farmers on the 2009/2010 main crop before December 2010. In addition, government is funding the Cocoa Farmers’ Housing Scheme and has asked COCOBOD to expedite action on setting up structures to run a pension scheme for farmers.