Ivory Coast: towards a sharp drop in cocoa production?

The Coffee-Cocoa Council describes these fears as “rumors” and ensures that there is no risk of non-performance of contracts. The institution explains that the prevalence of 6 multinationals on the trade of certified beans has distorted the market and now calls for control of multinational purchases. The CCC also recognizes a drop in production due to weather conditions. On the ground, several observations: the production of the intermediate campaign compared to previous years will be much lower, for lack of rain, but also for lack of available workers.

From our correspondent in Abidjan,

In front of an empty department store, producers, trackers and administrative officials share a strong cup of coffee. There isn’t a bag of cocoa beans in the warehouse. According to Anina Kaabass, quality manager, production has dropped considerably. ” It’s a bit linked to climate change, it’s not raining enough and we’ve seen a bit of deforestation which has a bit of an impact on production. Last year, at the same time, there were a few beans. But this year, it’s the opposite, even in reality will we have an intermediate campaign? This is the question we ask ourselves. »

If national exporters were to encounter difficulties in honoring their contract, the Coffee and Cocoa Council has planned to postpone the deadline for payment of taxes, and allow them to obtain supplies for the intermediate campaign, which has just begun.

But Boukary Ouedraogo, producer on a 3-hectare plantation in Adjaméné, fears that the shortage will continue. ” We are very worried because last year was good, but this year there is nothing. There is too much of a drop because last year, the intermediate campaign, we could have 5, but this year it’s 3. So there is a big gap between last year and this year. »

Planters heading to Liberia

According to Abelle Kla Galo, a specialist in the sector, poor weather conditions are not the main factor in the drop in production in western Côte d’Ivoire. Young planters are migrating en masse to neighboring Liberia. More than 10,000 have already settled on the other side of the border.

« The second generation, sons of planters, supposed to take into account the plantations of their parents and who also had plantations in the classified forest, found it better to go to Liberia than to continue in the classified forests where they are chased every day by Water and Forest agents whose mission is to reclaim the classified forests of the reserves of Côte d’Ivoire. »

Cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire has been steadily increasing since 2011 due to the use of inputs and the nibbling of classified forests. It has gone from 1 million 400 tonnes 10 years ago to more than 2 million tonnes today. But due to climate change, and new international regulations, it could drop in the years to come.

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