Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will, for the first time, jointly announce the price of cocoa for the 2018/2019 crop season in October this year. The move comes on the back of an agreement between the two countries to set a floor price for cocoa on the global commodity market, below which neither of the two countries will sell its produce.
Addressing the media in Accra via telephone after the signing of the syndicated loan agreement, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said the historic event would come off on October 1, 2018.
“We have been in joint collaboration with them. We want to be able to control the prices of cocoa on the international market and also reduce smuggling across the border as much as possible,” he stated.
The move forms part of 12 action points the two countries agreed to implement at the end of a two-day meeting to help enhance the benefits that they derive from the production of the cash crop.
Another key action point is the adoption of a concurrent opening season and announcement of producer prices to be paid to farmers in the two countries.
The initiatives are the first of their kind by the two countries, who have, for decades, supplied more than 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa output.
It is aimed at uniting their fronts in a bid to present a common voice on matters of cocoa on the international market.
The action points were contained in a communiqué issued in Accra after a two-day meeting between officials of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Le Couseil du Café-Cacao of Cote d’Ivoire.
Areas of interest
The communique touched on the marketing and economics, production, research and the governance structure of the cooperation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the area of cocoa production.
It said the two institutions, which oversee the cocoa business, agreed to conduct a study to determine the floor price of cocoa, constitute a joint committee of the promotion of cocoa consumption in both countries and across the West African sub-region, work further towards the adoption of strategies for the implementation of international standards organisation (ISO) Sustainable and Traceable Cocoa Standard and have concurrent opening of cocoa season and announcement of producer prices.
They also agreed to forge a closer collaboration between the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and the National Centre of Agronomic Research (CNRA) of Cote d’Ivoire, work together towards the adoption of good practices for adaptation and mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change based on experiences of the two countries and implement national strategies to restore and preserve cocoa landscapes, adopt a common approach to the coordination of private sector initiatives and continue the cutting of cocoa swollen shoot virus-infected trees in their respective countries.
The communiqué further enjoins the two countries to collect data that link cocoa farmers to their farms and collaborate in the fight against worst forms of child labour.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, in March this year, resolved to address the challenges of the cocoa sector within the framework of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement which links the two countries by signing the “Abidjan Declaration”.
President Akufo-Addo and his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, on Monday, 26th March, 2018, held a consultative meeting devoted to the cocoa economy and subsequently signed what has become the “Abidjan Declaration”.
By Emmanuel Bruce