The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, says the Akufo-Addo Administration is gambling with the country’s share in the global cocoa market following the agreement of a new minimum price with Cote D’Ivoire.
Though the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire relationship in cocoa marketing may be strategic, the Minority Leader argued that the differing contexts in the two countries may result in unsatisfactory outcomes for Ghana.
The new minimum price, pegged at $2,600 per tonne, was agreed upon after deliberations in June 2019.
The new price is hoped to benefit the historically marginalised cocoa farmers and keep them in business.
The merits notwithstanding, Mr. Iddrisu held that the government should have consulted more on the matter.
“As much as it is important to build strategic alliances with Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire don’t share the same characteristics when it comes to cocoa. Whilst in Cote D’Ivoire, it is the private sector that buys and sells, in Ghana, it is the government that buys, sells and stores.”
“To say that we will not sell can jeopardise Ghana’s future market share globally. So we are asking for much more broader consultations and that we do not think that the decision government is taking is strategic.”
Currently, a tonne of cocoa, according to the International Cocoa Organisation, is being sold at about $2,390 on the world market.
The meeting was necessitated by the fact that Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire only get $6 billion annually in the $100 billion-dollar chocolate industry despite producing more than 60 percent of the world’s cocoa needs.
In 2018, the two countries unveiled plans to coordinate cocoa production and marketing as part of efforts to exert more control in the market after price fluctuations in recent years.
In other mutual moves, the two countries decided to have concurrent openings of their cocoa seasons and announcement of producer prices.
In addition, they also agreed to adopt strategies to implement ISO Sustainable and Traceable Cocoa Standard.