WEST AFRICA – Ivory Coast and Ghana, the two West African nations who together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa, have created a joint body to improve coordination in research, price setting and the fight against child labour.
The Ivory Coast-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (ICCIG) will promote their cocoa industries internationally and defend their collective position in the global market.
According to reports by Reuters, the two nations have coordinated on some of those issues before, but the new organisation marks a formal step towards closer ties.
The organization will allow the two countries to formalise an agreement started three years ago whereby they both announce farmgate prices at the start of the growing season on Oct. 1, a measure aimed at reducing smuggling across their shared border.
They also introduced a minimum price floor to address a perceived imbalance between farmers’ incomes and money made by big commodities traders.
In regards to this, they initiated a US$400 a tonne living income differential (LID) on cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season in a bid to ease pervasive farmer poverty.
The two countries plan to use funds raised from the LID to guarantee farmers 70% of US$2,600 a tonne of FOB target price.
If global prices rise above US$2,900, proceeds from the LID will be placed in a stabilisation fund that would be used to ensure farmers get the target price when market prices fall.
With the formation of ICCIG, it is a step closer to realisation of some of the initiatives set.
In other related news, the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) has launched a new cocoa advocacy initiative aimed at helping create a sustainable cocoa value chain in the country.
In collaboration with various cocoa farmer-based organisations and other stakeholders, GARDJA said the initiative will draw attention to pertinent issues militating against the development of the cocoa sector including poor farmgate pricing, challenges with accessing inputs including fertilisers and pesticides, the negative impact of climate change on cocoa production, child labour on farms, among others.
The cocoa advocacy initiative, according to GARDJA will involve series of media campaigns as well as capacity building initiatives for the media and for cocoa producers between now and the end of the year.
“It will ensure that the Ghanaian public has access to more and better investigative reports on cocoa sustainability issues. It will also ensure media houses help create the required platform for an informed public debate on cocoa sustainability issues in Ghana,” GARDJA noted.
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