Ghana’s graded and sealed (G&S) cocoa arrivals stood at 146,886 tonnes as of November 5 since the start of this year’s harvest on Oct. 1, down from 163,162 tonnes the previous season, figures from marketing board COCOBOD showed by the end of last week.

G&S is cocoa that has been quality checked and sealed in bags by COCOBOD and is ready to be shipped.

Cocoa production in Ghana is expected to reach 800,000 tonnes this season, COCOBOD has forecast and insists that despite the slow start to the new season with regards to purchases from local farmers for export, this target will still be met.

Indeed, following a 28 percent increase in the price at which government buys cocoa from local farmers at the farm gate – the first such increase in two years – enthusiasm is high among producers.

Besides, COCOBOD has embarked on several major initiatives such as hand pollination in addition to its traditional mass spraying and distribution of subsidized fertilizer with the aim of tripling productivity per acre.

It is also registering farmers on a digital database with the aim of ensuring that only the righty recipients benefit from some more new initiatives in the pipeline aimed at supporting genuine cocoa farmers and increasing their output per acre.

However, COVID-19 has significantly reduced global demand for cocoa since chocolate consumption has fallen considerably as consumers exercise caution with regards to their household budgets.

But within COCOBOD itself there are suspicions that demand is being deliberately dampened to dissuade Ghana from charging the recently agreed US$400 per tonne Living Income Differential paid to it and neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire to enable their cocoa farmers earn more income.

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