Cocoa farmers in Ghana harvesting Cocoa

The Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has revealed that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are close to agreeing on a singular system of trading cocoa at the world market to give the two major producers some control at the cocoa market.

The agreement will help the two countries in their quest take a strong position on deciding the price of cocoa at the world market.

The two countries have been collaborating in recent times on how to improve the income of farmers but the difference in their respective trading systems has become a major setback.
However, speaking as a panelist at ongoing World Cocoa Foundation meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday the head of Ghana’s cocoa regulator indicated that the major driving force for the collaboration of the two countries is the price.

“It’s unethical, unfair and we cannot talk about the sustainability of the industry when we are not paying the commensurate and rewarding price to farmers,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo

Joseph Boahen Aidoo also revealed that a technical team has been set up between the two major cocoa producing countries, to come out with the true cost of production per tonne which they believe will serve as the basis of setting the floor price.

He also indicated that all other producing countries will be engaged to be part of such a major revolution in the industry.

In a related development, the government in has maintained the producer price of cocoa for the 2018/2019 cocoa season at GH¢7,600 per tonne, translating into GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilogram (kg) gross weight.

The price takes took effect from October 2, 2018, whereas the new season commenced on Friday, October 4, 2018.

This was announced by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, at the 2018 Cocoa Day Grand Durbar in Accra.

He said the decline in the price of the commodity on the international market, which had forced all the other 21 producing countries to slash their producer prices, made it impossible for the government to review the producer price upwards.

Cocoa price on the international market in recent times has reduced from US$3,300 per tonne to US$2,100, representing a decline of about 40 percent.

Dr Akoto said the government, however, decided to maintain the producer price and not reduce it in order to minimise the adverse impact on farmers.

He urged the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to ensure that farmers were paid promptly for their cocoa beans.

For the first time, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire jointly announced the producer price of cocoa.