According to Bloomberg, Ghana’s cocoa regulator had originally forecast a crop of 950,000 tons this year, but the harvest was hit by long dry spells early in the season and is expected to be an estimated 685,000 tons of beans in the season.
This is down from a record crop of approximately 1.05 million tons the previous year.
Ghana’s smallest cocoa crop in 12 years is down to drought-withered pods and more than 19,000 hectares, or roughly 2% of cocoa farms, been destroyed by small-scale gold miners who often operate illegally, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) said.
Some farms are also still recovering from the impact of the swollen shoot virus disease that hit the region three years ago.
Reuters has also reported that Ghana's parliament has approved a $1.3bn syndicated loan to finance the purchase of cocoa for the 2022-23 season.
The receivable-backed trade finance facility is between COCOBOD and a consortium of banks and financial institutions with the government as the guarantor.
Ghana uses a loan facility each to purchase cocoa from farmers. The loan was approved despite efforts to overcome an economic crisis and a nearly $1 billion balance-of-payments deficit, according to Reuters.