Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has given the firm assurance that his outfit will increase investment in irrigation facilities to cocoa farms nationwide to address the impact of climate change on cocoa farms.
The International Cocoa Organisation’s monthly report for April 2022, has forecasted cocoa production for the 2021/22 season to fall by one-third due to less conducive weather conditions and the outbreak of swollen shoot disease.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the move will ensure all year-round production and harvest of the cash crop.
“From November, December through to about the second half of March this year there were no rains. And when we don’t have rains at all definitely there will be no flower and there will be no fruit. So, we actually know that the crop outlook is not as good as the previous years. Last year, we had a lot of rain even during the Harmattan. What we are doing for a sustainable production is to introduce irrigation. That is the only solution. Agriculture now cannot continue to be based on the rain fed agriculture or the traditional way. Now, we have to change, we have to seriously consider irrigation in the country. Not only for cocoa but for all forms of agriculture, even cattle ranching and all these things have to be by irrigation,” he said.
According to the Cocoa Market Report for April 2022, the first half of the 2021/22 cocoa season has so far witnessed a rebound in cocoa demand.
Factors that have contributed to the increase in cocoa demand include the resumption of the air travel sector as well as the recommencement of seasonal festivities.
Available information on crop sizes in main cocoa origin countries in West Africa suggests that the 2021/22 cocoa season is heading towards a deficit of approximately 181,000 tonnes due to a shortfall in production as compared to the 2020/21 cocoa year coupled with the improvement in demand.
The global cocoa market was generally bearish in April with prices of the nearby cocoa futures contract reaching a 4-month low at US$2,179 per tonne in London and a 3-month low at US$2,430 per tonne in New York. A contributing factor has been the 4% appreciation of the US dollar.