The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to collaborate with its counterpart in Cote d’Ivoire, the Café-Cacao Conseil, to manage the trading of cocoa on the international market.
The collaboration is to help regulate the quantity of cocoa beans that is sent to the market by both countries, in a bid to cushion farmers against falling global prices.
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, explained that although local farmers would be supported to increase their production, the two countries would manage the stock to be able to influence prices on the world market.
“Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have different systems of trading. We don’t have a common trading system so anytime Ghana goes to the market, Cote d’Ivoire is also there with its produce. We should be able to arrange when to go to the market and then we will be able to manage our produce and the price,” he told the Daily Graphic after the end of the second meeting of the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Technical Co-operation on Cocoa in Accra.
He said the fluctuating prices of cocoa was a demand, supply and price-related mechanism and as such once the two countries - which controlled about 60 per cent of the world production - were able to manage the stock, farmers could enjoy relative price stability.
“If we say we are going to control it, then it will look like a cartel, and on the world market that is not allowed. What we can do as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire is to manage our stock. Once we are able to manage the stock, the price itself will find the level,” he added.
At the local level, Mr Aidoo said, COCOBOD was going to assist farmers in increasing their production per hectare.
“We are going to increase production. Already our farmers are not producing enough per hectare; so we are going to assist them in increasing their production per hectare. We cannot stop the farmers from producing, all we can do is to manage the market,” he said.
He gave an assurance that conclusions reached at the meeting would be followed to ensure that cocoa farmers of both countries were protected from the harsh effects of falling prices and also to ensure sustainable production.
Although the agreements reached at the meeting were not made available to the media, Mr Aidoo said the two countries made conclusions on how to increase production and manage cocoa producer price and smuggling of the product.
The two-day meeting organised under the auspices of the COCOBOD brought together officials from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to devise strategies for mitigating the harsh effects of declining cocoa prices on farmers.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, commended the technical committee members for the work done over the two days and expressed the hope that follow-ups would be done on the recommendations.