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Disease And Drought Cut Down Ghana’s Cocoa Yields From 812,000 To 770,000 Metric Tons

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Disease And Drought Cut Down Ghana’s Cocoa Yields From 812,000 To 770,000 Metric Tons

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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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On Thursday, September 24, 2020, day 1 of his 3-day tour of
the Western North Region, the President, declared "Nananom,
beginning 1st October 2020, I am happy to announce the
award of a new cocoa producer price of GH¢10,560 per
metric ton, equivalent to GH¢660 per bag for the coming
2020/21 crop year", when he launched the Cocoa
Rehabilitation Programme, in Sefwi Wiawso.
The Daily Graphic newspaper quoted Nana Akufo-Addo, as
explaining "this represents a hike of more than 28% over the
price obtained in the outgoing crop year of 2019/2020."
But it is being reported by Bloomberg that Ghana's cocoa
harvest has been hit by drought and disease.
Ekow Dontoh, Bloomberg's correspondent in Accra, five days
after the President's statement wrote that "​​​​​​Ghana's 2019-20
cocoa harvest dropped to the lowest in five years after spells
of drought and a severe outbreak of swollen-shoot disease
damaged trees, according to people familiar with the matter".
It said that "Preliminary data shows that the world's second-
biggest cocoa producer harvested 770,000 metric tons of the
beans in the year through September, said the people, who
asked not to be identified because they're not authorized to
speak publicly. That's below the previous season's harvest of
812,000 tons and the lowest since the 2014-15 harvest of
740,000 tons".
It added that "the Ghana Cocoa Board, the regulator,
continued the main harvest without pause between the so-
called main crop and mid-crop, which is the smaller of the two
annual harvests and collected between June and mid-
September, said the people. The initial forecast for the season
ending Sept. 30 was 800,000 tons".
Fifi Boafo, a spokesman for the board, didn't answer calls
seeking comment.
Ghana signed a $1.3 billion syndicated cocoa loan to finance
the bean purchases for the 2020-21 season in the capital,
But ahead of the Sefwi Wiawso's event, the 2019/20 producer
price of GH¢8,240 per metric ton, i.e. GH¢514 per bag, was an
8.2% increase over the 2018/2019 price of GH¢7,615, i.e. GH
¢475 per bag.
"By this new producer price, we have kept faith with our
commitment, under the international arrangement with Côte
d'Ivoire and global stakeholders, by awarding to our farmers
the full four hundred United States dollars per metric ton (US
$400/MT) Living Income Differential (LID)," the President said.
He continued that "By this substantial increase in the producer
price, we are also delivering on our 2016 manifesto promise to
reward handsomely the hard work of our cocoa farmers and
their unequalled contribution to the economy of Ghana over
the years."
Touching on the unstable nature of cocoa prices on the world
cocoa market, President Akufo-Addo stated that "it remains
one of the biggest challenges to ensuring payment of decent
farm-gate prices to our cocoa farmers."
With Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire responsible for 65% of the raw
cocoa beans used in making chocolates, the President
bemoaned the fact that cocoa farmers from the two countries
just US$6 billion from an over $100 billion chocolate industry.
This, he explained, is the meagre return that hardworking
farmers get from their toil.
"Government believes that value-addition to our cocoa, and
the search for new markets, will make us more money than all
the aid given to us by all the donor countries. We shall gain
some dignity, and spare the donors the fatigue we have all
heard about," he added.
This, according to President Akufo-Addo, is the rationale for
the Strategic Partnership between Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana,
the common initiative of His Excellency President Alassane
Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire and himself, which is manifesting
itself in a joint cocoa production and marketing policy, and
which is already paying dividends.
"Today, I am happy to announce that Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
are receiving a Living Income Differential (LID) of four hundred
United States dollars (US$400) per ton of cocoa, which is an
additional earning from the world market price for our farmers.
The Living Income Differential is going to guarantee some
stability to the producer price of cocoa and sustainability of
the industry in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire," the President said.
Source: The Herald

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