Ghana’s government considers pay cut for cocoa farmers

Ghana’s government will consider cutting the price it pays to cocoa farmers because a slump that started more than a year ago shows little sign of abating, said Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

A price cut would signal a policy shift in the world’s second-biggest grower of the beans, which has ruled out changing farmer payments since setting the minimum price at 7,600 cedis ($1,700) per metric ton in October 2016. Over the same period, futures contracts in London have slumped by more than a third to near the lowest in six years on forecasts of a second consecutive bumper crop in West Africa.

In neighboring Ivory Coast, the biggest producer, the cocoa regulator lowered minimum pay for its main harvest that started in October by 36 percent to the equivalent of $1,247 per ton.

“Cocoa is a problem,” Ofori-Atta said Wednesday on the sidelines of a briefing by President Nana Akufo-Addo in the capital, Accra. Ghana needs “to have a discussion at cabinet level and put out a formula that is similar to that of Ivory Coast.” Read more here.