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Ghana expects slightly lower cocoa production in upcoming season

Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, is expected to produce 850,000 tonnes of cocoa in 2019/20 season, at the lower end of average levels on account of the swollen shoot disease outbreak, the country’s industry regulator said on Thursday.

Ghana’s annual cocoa production is usually between 850,000 and 900,000 tonnes, though the country had an official forecast of 900,000 tonnes for the current 2018/19 season, which ends this month.

“Swollen shoot is the main factor bringing down production,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), an industry regulator, told Reuters on the sidelines of the European Cocoa Forum in Lisbon.

Aidoo also said Ghana would announce the official farmgate price for the 2019/20 season on Oct. 1. The farmgate price is a fixed annual price set and paid by the government to farmers each season.

Ghana’s cocoa output is expected to fall to 830,000 tonnes in the 2018/19 season, which ends this month, on account of unfavourable weather and swollen shoot disease, according to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO).

Ghana’s fight against the disease has prompted Cocobod to replant of 400,000 hectares of cocoa plants. It will take at least three to five years for the replanted surfaces to come into production.

Source: Reuters

COCOBOD, China signs agreement for establishment of Cocoa processing factory in Sefwi-Wiawso

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed an agreement with the China General Technology (Group) Holding (Genertec) for the establishment of a cocoa processing factory in Ghana.The factory, which will be located at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region will be operated by COCOBOD and Genertec through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).Implementation of the plan for the construction of the cocoa processing factory will involve the China International Development Operating Agency, with funding from the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Sino-African Fund.

The project holds great potential to contribute significantly to the improvement of the Ghanaian economy, and particularly, for the local economy of the Sefwi-Wiawso area, said the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, in his address to the Chinese delegation led by the country’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Zhou Wang. The signing ceremony took place at the Cocoa House in Accra.

The project, Hon. Aidoo added, also has the potential to grant Ghana access to the huge Chinese market of well over a billion people. There lies a unique opportunity to reach several-million consumers of cocoa made and processed in Ghana.

“This is a project that is going to benefit both countries,” he said with some glee. “It is going to be of mutual benefit; a win-win situation. Ghana will benefit and of course, China will as well benefit.”

Hon. Aidoo said the project will also aid in COCOBOD’s drive towards increasing local consumption and more importantly, it fits into the agenda of the present government, that Ghana should increase its share of the USD$ 100 billion global cocoa industry through value addition to cocoa beans.

“It is a matter of taking a bigger part of the global value chain, worth over USD$ 100 billion annually. Once the comprehensive feasibility studies are completed, we are looking forward to the commencement of the project.”

On his part, Mr Tan Xinghui, the Vice President of Genertec said the company already has some foothold in the Ghanaian cocoa sector spanning some 15 years, however, the establishment of the cocoa processing plant commences a new model of corporation between Ghana and China.

Although, China has invested in other sectors of Ghana, they are yet looking for other opportunities where the two countries can cooperate for mutual profit and a deepening of relations.

“We regard Ghana as the regional hub”, Mr Tan Xinghui added. “We believe that our portfolio in Ghana is not yet enough, so, basically we are looking forward to expanding our investment here in Ghana and that is why we are here today.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman, was grateful for the co-operation and was hopeful that the project will commence in due time to achieve the objective of expanding the consumption of cocoa in the country.

He was positive that the mutual relationship between the two countries will be further strengthened.

SOURCE : BestNewsGH.com and www.facebook.com/jbaidooofficial/

Ghana, Ivory Coast to introduce cocoa production ceiling

Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producers, are looking at introducing a cocoa production ceiling to support global prices and discourage overproduction, the countries’ industry regulators said on Wednesday.

The move comes after the West African nations, who produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, imposed a fixed “living income differential (LID)” or premium of $400 a tonne in July on all cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season.

Many cocoa buyers say the LID, which represents a major overhaul of how cocoa is priced globally, could lead to excess production and eventually, to lower prices.

“We’ve put in (place a) mechanism which sets production ceilings,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) told industry representatives at the European Cocoa Forum in Lisbon.

He declined to say at what level the production ceiling would be set, saying that parliament had to approve it first.

The director general of Ivory Coast’s Conseil Cafe Cacao (CCC), Brahima Yves Kone, said lawmakers in Ivory Coast and Ghana would likely approve the production ceiling. “According to the figures they gave us, we expect them to agree,” he said.

Cocoa prices on ICE Futures Europe hit a one-year high of 1,939 pounds ($2,424) in July, in anticipation of the move by Ivory Coast and Ghana to introduce the premium, their latest attempt to combat pervasive farmer poverty.

Speaking on how the West African nations would implement a production cap in practice, Kone said Ivory Coast had begun mapping and registering the country’s farmers, and should complete the project by 2020.

SOURCE : REUTERS

EU backs cocoa price rise to make production more sustainable

Higher prices are needed to ensure cocoa production becomes more sustainable, a senior European Union official said on Tuesday, backing plans by top growers Ivory Coast and Ghana to levy a “living income differential” on sales.

“Ivory Coast and Ghana can count on the EU in their price floor initiative,” Regis Meritan of the trading bloc’s directorate-general for International Cooperation and Development told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO).

 

The West African neighbours, who together produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, imposed a fixed “living income differential” of $400 a tonne in July on all cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season.

The move, a bid to ease pervasive farmer poverty, child labour and deforestation, was a major overhaul in how cocoa is priced globally.

“This initiative affects the price and we are convinced that without a significant increase in price we will not be able to change the paradigm,” Meritan, team leader on rural development, food security and nutrition, said.

Meritan said it would not be a problem for chocolate makers to pay more for cocoa as long as their competitors also faced higher costs. Major chocolate makers include Barry Callebaut AG , Mondelez International Inc and Nestle SA .

“If they all pay together more…the one who will ultimately pay more is the consumer,” he said.

Meritan welcomed the ongoing dialogue on the pricing scheme involving traders, producing countries and chocolate makers.

“Two years ago in 2017 in Brussels it was impossible with the industry to talk about the price and on the side of the producing countries it was not easy to make them say that if the price was low, it was because there was too much cocoa on the market,” he said.

“Today we are in a much healthier discussion.”

SOURCE : REUTERS