Ghana’s cocoa board expresses fears over poor harvest

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The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has expressed fears over meeting its 2013 harvest target for cocoa due to low rainfall.
Ghana’s online newspaper, The Graphic, quoted Noah Amenyah, COCOBOD’s Public Affairs Manager, as saying this in an interview with newsmen in Accra on Tuesday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
“Low rainfall expected in the coming months may affect the country’s cocoa harvest target of 850,000 metric tonnes in the 2013/2014 season.
“The signals we are getting are that there will be low rainfall in the coming season, and this will affect our cocoa harvest,’’ he said.
Amenya said that agriculture in the country, especially cocoa cultivation, depended largely on rainfall patterns.
“The implication of this is that if we have low rainfall, it will affect production; and if we have heavy rains, it will boost production,’’ he added.
He said that Ghana was preparing to open its 2013/2014 season on Friday, Oct. 18, with an initial target of buying about 830,000 tonnes of cocoa.
NAN reports that Ghana runs two-cycle cocoa seasons, with the first spanning between October and June, while the other cycle runs between July and September.
The harvest from the main crop season, which spans between October and July, is mainly exported, while the light crop season, which runs between July and September, is discounted to local grinders.
NAN reports that the Ghanaian parliament in September approved a 1.2 billion dollar loan facility for the COCOBOD to facilitate the purchase of cocoa beans for the upcoming main crop season.
Ghana’s local media reported that the credit facility was an arrangement between the cocoa authorities and a consortium of local and international banks, with the government acting as the guarantor.
Global cocoa prices began to recover above 2,600 U.S. dollars per tonne in recent weeks after plummeting below 2,300 dollars …

Source: BusinessDay

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