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Cocoa Instability Price Must Be Managed   
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Dr Tei Quartey, Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), on Wednesday said it was about time Ghana begun to match supply and demand of cocoa to manage the instability of cocoa price on the world market.

He said agricultural crops do have that volatility and it is up to stakeholders to come up with achievable plans to manage that volatility by managing supply and demand.

Dr Quartey, speaking at a Cocoa Sector Scenario Planning Exercise in Accra, said one way to achieve that was to know the quantity that Ghana could produce for the market and maintain that quantity.

The two-day exercise is being organised by COCOBOD with support from Price Waterhouse Corporation, for smaller group of players along the cocoa value chain to brainstorm about the future transformation of the cocoa sector.

Dr Quartey said: “it is not all about increasing production….we must be able to say that for us, in our long-term perspective, a million tonnes of cocoa is good for us. Anything beyond that, we will over flood the market and the price will fall.

“If productivity increased as being the demands from donors and 800 farms are growing a 1000 kilogrammes, where are we going to market them? he questioned.

He said: “When you hear politicians talk about overtaking Ivory Coast, to what end… if overtaking Ivory Coast would do two million tonnes , you close the demand gap and your price falls; you will lose out.”

Dr Quartey said it would be better in that case to do “a good 800 tons or 900 tons at 3000 or 4000 dollars than to do a million and get a-1000 dollar per ton”.

He announced that there was no proper inventory of Ghana cocoa resources and that COCOBOD was taking up steps to make an inventory of the form sizes and map out the areas of the lands to know the kind of trees they had in the farms.

He said proper mapping would also enable them know the age dimension of the trees which would inform the application of fertilizers.

Dr Quartey explained that the response to fertilizer under the younger trees is better than the old trees, because the old trees have reached their peak of production and fertilizer application was a waste of resources.

Dr Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, said the exercise was a follow up of earlier meeting held in April to discuss the result of a “Scooping Mission,” jointly undertaken by the officials of COCOBOD and the World Bank.

He said the exercise was to find alternative means of modernizing Ghana’s Cocoa sector, and urged participants to contribute towards helping the COCOBOD to achieve its desired objectives.
Source: Scandal

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