Ghana’s Cocoa Revenue Facing Significant Decline

by Louisa Afful
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Ghana’s cocoa revenue for the first quarter of 2024 has suffered a significant decline of over $500 million due to illegal mining activities, adverse weather conditions, the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD), and rampant smuggling, according to Fiifi Boafo, Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD.

Speaking to JoyNews Desk, Boafo outlined the primary reasons behind the revenue decline. He highlighted illegal mining as a major disruptor, preventing farmers from accessing their cocoa farms and polluting essential water sources.

Boafo also attributed the revenue shortfall to adverse weather conditions exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, resulting in warmer and drier conditions that lowered cocoa yields.

The CSSVD has further worsened the situation, affecting more than 500,000 hectares of cocoa farms. Boafo mentioned that over $200 million has been spent on rehabilitating farms affected by this disease.

In response, COCOBOD has taken proactive measures, including legal actions against smugglers and illegal miners. Boafo noted that several individuals have been jailed, and additional cases are pending in court. Financial support for cocoa farmers has also been increased to mitigate the impact of these challenges.

COCOBOD’s legal team is actively assisting farmers in prosecuting miners who trespass on their farms, ensuring that their rights are protected amid these disruptions.

Despite the challenges, Boafo expressed confidence in COCOBOD’s ability to maintain financial stability and access necessary funding, including the cocoa syndicated loan.

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