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Voice of Cocoa

Ghana Diversifies 30% of Cocoa Exports To New Markets By 2027

...Middle East, South East Asia and AfCFTA markets to benefit

Ghana will cut back 30% of cocoa exports to Europe and America onto emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia in line with a 5-year market diversification strategy, a source has hinted to Cocoa Post.

The plan seeks to diversify that share of current cocoa exports to the new markets in the ratio of 10:15:5 in favour of the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa (South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt), respectively.

Currently, Ghana ships 80% of its cocoa to the European Union market with the remainder going to the United States of America, Japan and others.

The source, who preferred not to be named, said integral to the plan Cocobod, Ghana’s cocoa sector regulator, is activating a programme to empower a burgeoning local artisanal and small-scale manufacturing industry to boost domestic consumption and the export of value-added cocoa products.

Institutional collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Ghana AfCFTA Coordination Office, and the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH) are all in place for seamless implementation, the source assured.

Cocoa producers in poverty trap

The West African country is the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa beans after its neighbour Cote d’Ivoire and together account for over 60% of the global supply.

However, millions of smallholder cocoa farmers in the two countries continue to wallow in abject poverty linked to the continuously declining international market and farmgate prices for the commodity, a key ingredient for chocolate.

Studies show that the two countries earn less than 6% of the global chocolate market estimated to be worth $130 billion dollars per annum.

With recent dialogue and actions initiated jointly by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire seeing no success, the producers may now be resorting to what experts have long advised.

Jobs and wealth for Ghanaian youth

Excerpts of Ghana’s market expansion strategy document gleaned by Cocoa Post indicate that the implementation of the 5-year strategy (2022 to 2027) will be spearheaded by two key divisions of Ghana Cocoa Board.

According to the source, the regulator is also mulling major regulatory reforms to sustain the gains expected from the market diversification strategy.

“At the end of it all, we hope to significantly increase revenue from the export market, and also activate jobs and wealth opportunities in the cocoa sector for indigenous entrepreneurs and the Ghanaian youth,” the source explained.

Insulation from world price volatility

Meanwhile, in a message commemorating the Farmers Day celebration in Ghana last week, the Chief Executive of Cocobod, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, reported that the country had achieved 40% domestic cocoa processing against a 5-year policy target of 50% by 2021.

Aidoo described the move as being “part of a broader strategy to position our cocoa against world price volatility and guarding against the effects of various schemes of saboteurs in our quest for decent prices for farmers.”

Kojo Hayford
Source Cocoa Post
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