According to the country’s Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Ghana expects to output approximately 900,000 tonnes of cocoa in the 2020/2021 season, up 5.8% from the forecast for 2019/2020.
The Ghanaian government has stated in a parliamentary report that it will act as guarantor for Cocobod with its plan to raise $1.3bn in syndicated loans to fund cocoa purchases during the 2020/21 season from a consortium of banks and financial institutions.
ConfectioneryNews spoke to Dr Kristy Leissle, a scholar of cocoa and chocolate, and co-founder of the Cocoapreneurship Institute of Ghana, via video to find out more about the state of the cocoa industry in the country and how it is coping with the coronavirus crisis.
Leissle lives in the capital, Accra, and is also Affiliate Faculty in African Studies at the University of Washington. She also sits on the editorial board of ConfectioneryNews.
COVID happened and everything has been thrown up into the air -- Dr Kristy Leissle
The glut caused by the market and supply prospects in countries like Ghana who are unable to shift its cocoa, has sent prices to a 15-month low of around $2,150 a tonne.
Lower cocoa prices are disastrous for farmers and their families trying to make a living income.
Living Income Differential (LID)
Starting in October the big chocolate makers agreed to pay an additional Living Income Differential (LID) of $400 a tonne for supplies from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana as part of a joint initiative to combat farmer poverty.
A worry now for farmers in is that the LID may not be guaranteed, according to local reports.
In our interview Leissle, told ConfectioneryNews: “LID was a bold action by the two countries and before Covid-19 there was hope and optimism that there would be a genuine impact on their income once the LID was implemented. It amounts to almost a 20% increase on minimum price for Ghana – 30% in Ivory Coast - and then COVID happened and everything has been thrown up into the air.”
In the video link Leissle also talks about her life in Ghana, and her work – and why she can’t wait to get back in the field as the lockdown begins to ease to report on the state of the cocoa industry to further her studies, and continue her excellent ‘I Am A Cocoa Farmer’ series for ConfectioneryNews.