Ivory Coast and Ghana agree to create Sustainable Cocoa Initiative

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Ghanalive.tv
Picture: Ghanalive.tv

Related tags Ghana Côte d'ivoire Cocoa

The leaders of the Ivory Coast and Ghana have agreed to set up a joint industry body called The Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire Sustainable Cocoa Initiative to get better pay for farmers, combat cross-border smuggling and encourage further collaboration between the two countries.

The announcement was made after Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana met with Alassane Ouattara, President of the Ivory Coast in April.

Technical Cooperation

Known as ‘Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Technical Cooperation On Cocoa’, the industry body includes members of Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council and Ghana's Cocobod and they will sign a regulatory document on Friday in Ghana's capital, Accra.

Dr Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Government of Ghana, Accra, said enhancing the welfare of cocoa farmers will require an improvement in farm productivity, sustainable domestic and international prices and a stronger production organization.

The answer to this and other challenges of the cocoa sector require cooperative efforts among producers, especially the two largest, thus the need for the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Technical Cooperation for cocoa sustainability​,” he said.

The Ivory Coast and Ghana have been hit hard this season as cocoa futures prices have fallen by around a third since last year owing to a bumper crop in the region, according to Reuters.

The price drop has pushed the two countries, which are often viewed as staunch rivals, to pledge to work together and introduce policies that will help them have a greater influence on world cocoa prices.

Top 10 Cocoa Producers

Cote d’Ivoire
Dominican Republic

Between them the two countries grow around 60% of the world's cocoa about 2.5 million tonnes a year but differing policies between the two countries have often led their farmgate cocoa prices to diverge, encouraging smuggling.

Growth in Asia

The two leading producers feel shortchanged with respect to cocoa prices on the world market, which is mostly determined by the West and Asia.

Growth in the Asian market for cocoa is consistently on the rise. Yet these positive developments in demand have not been marched by impressive prices​,” added Akoto.

The absence of appreciable rise in demand to increase prices is threatening the sustainability of cocoa production​.

There is a need for urgent, effective and sustainable measures to first protect our farmers and economies from the harsh effects of these price drops, and then chart a future of greater self-reliance​.”

As part of the regulatory document three separate committees; Production, Economics and Marketing, and Special Committees have been formed by the two nations with the mandate of fashioning out new policies to help both nations improve their production levels and gains from their sale of cocoa.

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