Long awaited by Ivorian cocoa farmers, the new farm price for the big cocoa season was set on Friday by Café-Cacao Council: 825 FCFA per kilo. This is slightly up from the small campaign between April and June, but a decrease of almost 20% from last year.
as reported from Abidjan, François Hume-Ferkatadji
Fixed at 825 FCFA per kilo of cocoa beans, priced drops at the level of the 2019-2020 campaign. But for many growers, it does not depend on the changing cost of living. Inflation is 2% every year and the costs of maintaining the field are also increasing. Especially since Ghana neighbor, he keeps his price equivalent to 1000 FCFA per kilo.
According to Yves Koné, Director General of the Café-Cacao Council, the new “Decent Income Difference” (DRD), a premium paid to farmers if cocoa prices fall, is already a price above the market. “This year, for example, the average market price is 1132 francs. With that, you can not even give 700 francs to the plantation without DRD. Planters do not understand, maybe they do not understand the price mechanism. But I think growers benefit greatly from it,” he says.
To combat the collapse of the market price, the director of the Café -Cacao Council also expressed his desire to see production fall in the country -2.2 million tons last year -At the same time as he acknowledged that he It is very difficult to control the level of harvests.
Loss of trust The opening of this campaign is marked by a loss of trust between the farmers’ organizations and the Café-Cacao Council, accused of not being able to enforce this guaranteed minimum price for the farmers.
On the part of the farmers’ organizations, concern is still very strong at the opening of this campaign. Obed Doua, chairman of Propaci, the association of professional agricultural organizations in Côte d’Ivoire, fears that this guaranteed minimum price will not be respected on the spot.
“At a certain point in time during the campaign period, it is finally the law of supply and demand. So buyers blackmail us. In mid-December, when producers need the most money, they keep cash, ”he explains.
For several months, tensions have been high between Café-Cacao Council and farmers’ organizations. The mechanism for the new “decent income gap” is considered opaque, while cocoa farmers’ representatives are calling for a “Grenelle du cacao” that brings together all players in the sector.
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