As impressed on the populace by President Nana Akufo-Addo, in order to achieve a Ghana beyond aid, the country needs to change the structure of its economy from one that mostly produces raw materials to one of value addition.
At a one-day cocoa-investors’ forum that brought together key players in the cocoa industry from Ghana and Ivory Coast, Agriculture Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto observed that Ghana’s annual earnings from the commodity, amounting to US$2.5billion, is very low considering the fact that the two West African countries together account for 60 percent of total global output. The global fluctuation of the price affects farmers and other players in the cocoa value chain in no uncertain terms.
Bearing the above in mind, the two countries have come together to establish joint cooperation with the aim of seeking to influence the commodity’s price. We do not see why these two majority producers of cocoa cannot influence the global price of the commodity in the same manner OPEC has been doing, and continues to do, for global oil prices.
It is a cartel that can decide to influence the price of oil upward or downward, depending on the prevailing circumstances; and a similar effort can be undertaken by Ghana and Ivory Coast since they produce the bulk of cocoa globally.
In that regard, increasing domestic processing capacity is the way to go; but in pursuing that line of development it becomes necessary to increase domestic demand as well, so that cocoa products can be locally produced and consumed.
If the two countries consent and control the product on the global market, they will have the wherewithal to control the commodity’s availability – and in the process attract favourable prices. Therefore, the need to come together and strategise to affect the global price becomes very imperative.
This Paper is encouraged by the line of action taken, and believes if we consolidate our efforts we will be determiners of the global cocoa price rather than being just takers of whatever is offered.