Cocoa alert: Ghana cocoa to be smuggled into Ivory Coast

There are indications that cocoa from Ghana would be smuggled into Cote d’Ivoire in the next six months of 2009.

Cocoa buyers in the eastern cocoa belt are anticipating the smuggling of tens of thousands of tons of cocoa beans from Ghana into neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.

Speaking to a foreign news wire, Dow Jones in Cote d’Ivoire, a leading buyer was quoted as saying, “we can pay them, (Ghanaian farmers) 750 CFA francs ($1.65) while over there the price is XOF650.”

According to the report, all the buyers in the area are expecting smuggled cocoa beans from Ghana to flood the area.

One of them reportedly praised the quality of the beans from Ghana saying, “they are good quality and we can mix them in with our beans to boost the overall quality.”

Cocoa beans market watchers say in the first three months of the 2008/2009 season from October to December 2008 smuggling literally stopped because the prices paid at the Ivorian farm gates were about the same as in Ghana.

In the past, cross-border smuggling of cocoa, Ghana’s leading cash crop to Cote d’Ivoire accounted for between 30,000 to 50,000 tons.

Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer of cocoa with an annual output of 1.3 million tons. Ghana follows in tow with an annual produce of 650,000 tons.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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