nigerian cocoa farming

31% PRODUCTION DROP EXPECTED IN GHANA AFTER “CATASTROPHIC” CONDITIONS

Ghana is reportedly expecting a significant decrease in their Cocoa production when compared to the previous season. The 2021/22 Cocoa output is expected to be down by a minimum of 31%, as a result of ‘catastrophic’ growing conditions.

It has not been an easy year for the West African Cocoa farmers, with the pandemic introducing a host of logistical challenges, and unideal weather conditions negatively impacting harvests. Ghana’s Cocoa board, COCOBOD, told Reuters that the extremely dry conditions induced by the seasonal Harmattan wind is contributing to severe drought, and stunting the growth of Cocoa pods. 

I believe 80,000 tonnes will be the maximum if all goes well. If the drought continues, it will be much less than that.

The result of these ongoing challenges is a poor harvest that is expected to continue through the mid-crop in June, and consequently a drastic drop in overall Cocoa output from the world’s second-largest Cocoa producer.

We all agree on one thing. Ghana’s total production will not exceed 710,000-720,000 tonnes this year, mainly because of a climate that has been catastrophic for Cocoa.

Director of a European export company

Similar figures were also given by four pod counters and six exporters based in Ghana. 

The mid-crop, starting in June, has previously reached approximately 250,000 tonnes during strong seasons. The current prediction, according to a source at COCOBOD, expects a much lesser 70,000-80,000 tonnes. One pod counter who visited Ghana earlier this month said, “I believe 80,000 tonnes will be the maximum if all goes well. If the drought continues, it will be much less than that.”

If predictions by the COCOBOD source are correct, then this year’s crop is only expected to reach 725,000 tonnes, representing a 31% drop from their previous record season of 1.047 million tonnes in 2020/21. “For the moment this is what we expect, but it could go up or down depending on the size of the mid-crop,” explained the anonymous COCOBOD source. If the current expected figures are accurate, it would be the country’s smallest crop in recent history.

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