The Ghanaian Cocoa Board is in the process of performing a U-turn on cocoa prices. Having initially announced that it would not change the farm gate price this season, it has had to back down in the face of pressure from Ghanaian grower associations, who have taken advantage of Ivory Coast's decision to increase its own farm gate price by 9%.
Faced with supply difficulties linked to Russia's war on Ukraine, the Australian fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot has restarted its imports of phosphates from the Boucraa mine in the Sahara, operated by OCP. It had stopped sourcing there in 2016, after protest from Scandinavian shareholders.
Communications between the cocoa sector regulator and the main bean producer organisations have become strained. The latter reproach the public body for not consulting them, particularly on the re-evaluation of the on-farm price, unchanged since 2019.
The Ivory Coast-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (ICCIG), based in Accra since September 2021 and headed by the experienced Ivorian Alex Assanvo, is struggling to bring multinationals on board. It is also trying to persuade the two regulatory bodies to radically shift their priorities.
The heads of Ghana Cocobod and Ivory Coast's Conseil Café Cacao were in Accra last week to refine their joint strategy in the face of the industry's trading giants and industrialists, who are considering diversifying their supplies elsewhere.
The Luanda government was to organise an international tender to help local blenders secure fertilisers from overseas in order to boost the agricultural sector. After getting off to such a slow start, its seems highly unlikely it will be finalised in the short term.