ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana will keep the price it pays cocoa farmers unchanged at 7,600 cedis ($1,735) per tonne for the 2017/18 season, according to a statement obtained by Reuters that is to be read by the agriculture minister on Friday.
Owusu Afriyie Akoto will also announce Friday as the official start of the new season in the world’s number two producer. Ghana is targeting output of around 850,000 tonnes this season.
World cocoa prices have plummeted since last year due to bumper crops in top producer countries.
“Government has, however, maintained the producer price of cocoa in order to eliminate the harsh effects of the drastic decline in international cocoa prices on the earnings of our hardworking farmers,” the statement said.
Ghana has decided to forego some export duties on cocoa in order to keep the price unchanged, it continued.
Neighbouring Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, set its farmer price at 700 CFA francs ($1.27) per kilogram, or $1,270 per tonne, earlier this month. Experts say the price gap between the two countries will fuel illicit bean trafficking.
($1 = 4.3790 cedis)
($1 = 551.0000 CFA francs)
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; writing by Joe Bavier; editing by Jason Neely)