The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the Strategic Partnership entered into between Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, which is manifesting itself in joint cocoa production and marketing policy, is already paying dividends.
According to him, a Living Income Differential (LID) of UD$400 per tonne will be paid to farmers for all categories of cocoa beans from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire starting from the 2020/2021 crop season, when the two countries begin to apply a new price mechanism for the sale of cocoa at US$2,600 per tonne.
This policy, he said, has found support even from major chocolate producers like Mars, who recognise the need to make the cocoa industry sustainable.
The President made this known in response to a question posed to him at the African Investment Forum’s “Invest in Africa’s Space” event, on Monday, November 11.
With Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire responsible for 65% of the world’s output of cocoa, and with the global chocolate industry worth some $100 billion industry, he noted that it is not right that the farmers, whose hard work and toil, is responsible for growing the cocoa, get only $6 billion for their effort.
“Very fortunately for me, the Ivorian leader, Alassane Ouattara, had the same point of view as myself. We found out that we have a mutual assessment of what was the reality, and the need for us to do something about the reality,” he said.
The President continued, “As a result of talks in Abidjan and in Accra, we came to a mutual understanding as to what we needed to do, which was fuse the production and marketing policies of our two countries, COCOBOD and Conseil du Café-Cacao.
They are insisting that, in future, we will enter the market at a certain basic floor price, and hold that price, and, then, out of it, find the opportunity to increase the earnings of our farmers.”
As a result, he told the gathering that the two countries now have an opportunity to pay their farmers a $400 bonus, called the Living Income Differential per tonne, and enhancing the incomes of their cocoa farmers, so that they get more out of this $100 billion industry.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the African Development Bank, which is supporting Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to enhance their infrastructure in the cocoa industry, by helping secure greater capacity for warehousing, enhance processing of the raw material, and, therefore, be able to participate in the higher end of the value chain.
“The end result of all of this will be a considerable enhancement of the incomes of our cocoa farmers, and, fortunately, the more progressive elements of the world industry have seen the value of the policy. Mars, the US company which is one of the biggest players of the industry, have come out openly to support the policy that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have evolved together, saying it is the way to ensure a sustainable industry,” he added.