Forecast for Cocoa production output remains high at the start of the new season despite fears by the nation’s cocoa farmers that delayed rains, which hit the west African cocoa – growing nation, could affect yields.
Early indications, according to farmers from parts of the Eastern Region, one of the hubs, show not much beans will be harvested and weighed in as the ‘season’ opens in October this year.
But officials say fruition is expected to improve in coming months as rainfall intensity is largely anticipated through to December. And that may improve yields. “We will not close the season, until all harvested beans are bought, if that’s another worry of our hardworking growers”, sources disclosed, recently, an indication, government and COCOBOD had contingency plans in place.
Ghana supplies chocolate factories all over the world and is renowned for the production of premium quality cocoa beans on the global commodities market. The country is the world second major producer with output around one million metric tonnes annually. Global warming is however threatening the nation’s multi-billion dollar cocoa industry, particularly farms, which are largely rain-fed. Thousands of indigenous farmers are yet to come to terms with the greenhouse gas emissions and associated vicious cycle that already has altered rainfall pattern in the country, which is located in the Gulf of Guinea along the Atlantic Ocean. According to state officials, a careful watch is being maintained over the erratic rains occurrence and farmers would be kept informed of any noticeable changes that may affect their economic activities.
Stakeholders are additionally advising farmers on the effective management of the forests, especially the need to continue avoiding indiscriminate felling of trees. Moreover ecological friendly methods of farming would be expected as part of long-term measures to reverse drought and unpredictable rainfall being pattern experienced around the world as well as improving the income levels of millions of families whose livelihood depend on the cash crop.
In a related development, the Agya Ayeh Cocoa Farmers & Marketing Association has lauded government’s mass cocoa spraying exercise in its enclave, describing the exercise as, timely and effective. It has also resulted in reduced cost of maintaining farms and improved yields since its inception.