New Cocoa price push; Stakeholders to meet again on July 3 in Abidjan

Stakeholders in the cocoa sector are to meet again in Abidjan to deliberate further on the proposed floor price of US$2,600 per tonne for cocoa beans jointly announced by Ghana and Ivory Coast.

The floor price is the price below which the two countries have jointly agreed not to sell the crop that is used as the main ingredient in chocolate production and as a base in some cosmetics.

The decision was contained in a communique read on behalf of the two states by Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo at the end of the two-day stakeholders meeting in Accra.

The planned July 3 meeting follows the first stakeholders’ meeting in Accra, called at the instance of the two largest cocoa beans producers and attended by major traders, buyers and manufacturers to deliberate on determination of the cash crop’s price as they seek to secure better prices for the hardworking farmers of the two states.

Both West African countries on the first day of the meeting announced that they were considering suspending trading the cash crop for the 2020/2021 crop season – until a consensus is reached on the proposed floor price.

The cocoa industry has contributed significantly to Ghana’s economic development over the years. Cocoa contributes about a quarter of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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The industry has over the years created employment for millions of Ghanaians and serves as a major source of foreign exchange for the country.

However, poor prices have left many cocoa farmers barely able to properly provide for their families – and more importantly made the industry unattractive to a large section of the youth.

One of the main functions of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) is to purchase, market and export cocoa and cocoa products produced in Ghana. In recent years, the price of cocoa on the international market has been fluctuating.

The average free-on-board (fob) price of cocoa recorded in the 2017/2018 season was US$2,080 – a drastic fall from US$2,950 per tonne in the previous year.

This decline in price coincided with a significant rise in cocoa production – by over 120,000 tonnes above the projected 850,000 tonnes for 2016/17 season, which remained above 900,000 tonnes for the subsequent 2017/2018 season.

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