International Cocoa Organisation downgrades Ghana’s cocoa output by 22%

The International Cocoa Organisation has downgraded by 22 percent Ghana’s cocoa output for the 2014-2015.

The estimate for the Ghana crop – the world’s second biggest – was slashed by 114,000 tonnes to 696,000 tonnes – representing 22% slump year on year.

The organisation is the latest to raise concern about Ghana’s output. Manufacturers and traders in the cocoa industry have also been complaining about Ghana’s disappointing crop season.

The International Cocoa Organisation or ICCO says it is yet to get a definitive explanation to the shortfall even though factors like strong Harmattan wind, inadequate rainfall, late application of fertilizers, and the curtailment of a government spraying programme have been cited as hurting production in Ghana.

It noted that cocoa farming in the country has over the years been increasingly competing with the mining industry for land, water resources and labour. This phenomenon, it said may have been exacerbated this season, following the lower producer price offered to Ghanaian farmers during the previous season.

The ICCO warned of an emerging declining trend should structural factors responsible for the reduction in production continue to persist.

The Organization also raised concerns over the prospects for a full recovery, given that the reasons behind the fall in Ghana remain unclear.

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