Arab Today, arab today i coast reintroduces minimum price guarantee for cocoa
Last Updated : GMT 04:16:19
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

I. Coast reintroduces minimum price guarantee for cocoa

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today I. Coast reintroduces minimum price guarantee for cocoa

Abidjan - AFP

Ivory Coast, the world\'s biggest cocoa producer, is to reintroduce minimum price guarantees for farmers after a decade of liberalisation in the sector, the government said on Wednesday. A price between 50 and 60 percent of the international price would be guaranteed to farmers, a statement said, adding that a regulatory body would also be reinstated. Reform of the cocoa sector has been set as a condition for Ivory Coast debt relief by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ivory Coast\'s cocoa production hit a record 1.48 million tonnes in 2010-2011, with favourable weather conditions wiping out the effects of a damaging political crisis that erupted after former leader Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede November 2010 elections to rival Alassane Ouattara, who was finally sworn as president in May. Up until now, cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast have been receiving 20-30 percent of the international price. During the decades where cocoa was driving the country\'s growth the CAISTAB, or Stabilisation and Price Support Fund, bought cocoa directly from farmers and sold it to exporters. It was disbanded at the end of the 1990s following pressure from investors who viewed it as a cash cookie jar for the Gbagbo\'s regime. Planned reforms for the sector failed to materialise and production fell every year as aging plantations and poor quality took its toll. With cocoa not bringing a good return, numerous farmers have been abandoning it for other crops such as rubber and palm oil, which are seen as being more profitable. Ivory Coast has about 35 percent of the world cocoa market, and cocoa and coffee account for 40 percent of its export revenue and 20 percent of its gross national product. The second-biggest cocoa producer is neighbouring Ghana, followed by Indonesia.

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