People work with cocoa beans in Enchi June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

The Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association has warned that the country risks losing its position as the second largest grower of the crop to Indonesia, if the farmer is not prioritized in the sector.

Cocoa beans from Ghana are the preferred choice for global giants in the multi-billion dollar business.

In addition to being the second largest grower of the crop in the world, Ghana holds the enviable record of producing the world’s premium cocoa bean, which processors revere and clamour for.

Speaking on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 Fm, the National President of the Association, Mr. Anane Boateng said although the increase in cocoa producer price by 8.42% is welcoming government ought to consider meaningful policies that will push farmers to work harder and attract others into the lucrative business of producing the world’s premium bean.

“Government must put in place good policies that will benefit farmers lest very soon Ghana will drop in its ranking. The over 20 cocoa growing countries are all rising steadily but i’m afraid if we continue in this manner, Indonesia, Nigeria and the rest will take our place.” Mr. Anane Boateng told host Kweku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa Morning show.

The government has announced an increase in cocoa producer price by more than 8 per cent for the next crop season.

This means that a 64-kilo bag would now be sold at GH¢515, while a tone would go for GH¢8,249.

The Minister of State in-charge of Food and Agriculture, Dr Nura Jara disclosed this at the World International Cocoa Day celebration in Sunyani on Tuesday.

But the smallholder cocoa farmers say the government must begin to take a holistic approach to improving the lives of the poor farmers as cocoa farmers are the anchor of Ghana’s cocoa sector.

Mr. Anane fears the industry may take a nose-dive as a result of the over-politicization of the sector.

“the government keeps on telling us they’ve brought good initiatives that has given impetus to boost production and sustaining the industry, but the reality is that sometimes it’s even hard to access those things they talk about. When you look at it carefully it’s only this year that we’ve seen some good results in the initiatives government has been trumpeting,” Mr Anane noted.