TEPA, Ghana, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Ghana on Saturday reduced the national guaranteed cocoa price paid to farmers to increase farmers’ incomes and prevent beans from being smuggled to neighboring countries where they get more money in supplies. The price has increased by more than 63%. Tighten.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said farmers would receive 20,943 Ghana cedis ($1,837) per tonne for the new 2023/2024 season starting in September, compared to 12,800 Ghana cedis the previous year. .
Speaking at a ceremony to kick off the new cocoa season in the western Tepa cocoa-growing area, Akufo-Addo said the new price was the highest paid to farmers across West Africa in more than 50 years.
The rally comes as cocoa futures have hit a 46-year high in recent weeks on concerns about supply shortages from the region, which provides about 70% of chocolate’s main ingredient.
December cocoa prices in London rose by 73 pounds (2.5%) to settle at 3,050 pounds per tonne on Friday, after hitting 3,053 pounds (about $3,805) on Friday, the highest since 1977.
Markets have been on the decline since late June as crop problems, including black pod disease in West Africa, contribute to the large global deficit expected for the current 2022/23 season (October/September). It continues to update new highs.
“With the expected stabilization of prices…the government will continue to reward our farmers with good prices for years to come,” Akufo-Addo told a crowd of cheering and dancing farmers.
Compared to neighboring Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, Ghana’s weaker Cedi currency and lower Farmgate cocoa prices during the 2022/2023 season have led to beans being smuggled to Ghana and Togo.
Total production from Ghana was lower than expected due to smuggling, forcing the government to end the season a month earlier than expected and push the start of the new season to September instead of October.
“The price gap has closed and it is no longer profitable to sell cocoa to Ivory Coast and Togo again,” said Laetitia Adu-Yankee of the Ghana Civic Association Cocoa Platform, an independent advocacy group.
Fifi Boafo, head of communications at the COCOBOD regulator, told Reuters on Saturday that Ghana is targeting production of 820,000 tonnes for the 2023/2024 season following the farmgate price hike. He said he was there.
He said Ghana had lost about 150,000 tonnes of beans this season to smuggling and artisanal gold mining, known as “galamsey”, which was destroying cocoa farms.
Boafo added that Ghana plans to borrow $1.2 billion for annual cocoa purchases. $800 million will be raised from a syndicate of banks and $400 million from other sources.
Cameroon, West Africa’s other top cocoa producer and the world’s fourth-largest, on Thursday increased farm-gate cocoa prices by 25% to around 1,500 CFA francs (about $2.45) per kg for the 2023/2024 season.
($1 = 11.4000 Ghanaian Cedis)
($1 = 0.8023 pounds)
($1 = 612.5300 Central African CFA Franc BEAC)
Reporting by Maxwell Adombila and Christian Akolie, writing by Bate Felix. Editing: Clelia Oziel, Alexander Smith
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