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Forward sales strategy of cocoa beans aimed at reducing price risks – COCOBOD

Source The Ghana Report

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has explained that the forward sales strategy of cocoa beans is critical to the growth and sustainability of the sector.

He made the statement in reaction to calls by some Civil Society Organisations for COCOBOD to review its forward sales of cocoa marketing system amidst soaring market prices.

Speaking in an interview after a visit to some farms in the Western and the Central regions, Mr. Boahen Aidoo explained that the use of forward sales is a deliberate strategy aimed at price risk mitigation and stock management.

“I am not ruling out spot for sales but it is always better to do forward sales. The buyer himself want forward sales just as the sellers. At all times, forward sales have been better than spot”.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo explained that “The situation only changed for last year due to some announcement from the World Meteorological Centre on the El Nino which caused the market to panic a bit which resulted in people raising the price of cocoa.

“Now, El Nino has retreated and the prices of cocoa have started coming down” he added.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo however admonished cocoa farmers across the seven regions to embark on hand pollination.

He stated that, some farmers have seen significant increase in productivity, which has eventually boosted their incomes after the introduction of the hand pollination intervention since 2017.

He also recommended the use of motorised slashers and pruners, which enables cocoa trees to have more sunlight and air, helping the trees to produce more fruits.

“Now that prices are good on the international market, what is needed is more yields to make farmers benefit. That’s why we’ve deliberately come up with the hand pollination programme. So, all cocoa farmers should embrace it,”

“Ordinarily, if you allow even pruned farms to fruit on their own, for the natural insects to do the pollination, you may end up getting about five to eight bags per hectare, but some farmers were producing between 20 bags and 30 bags per hectare. That’s where we want all our farmers to get to” he added

The Ghana Cocoa Board is also asking farmers to stop the use of cocktail chemicals which is the practice of mixing insecticides and fungicides to spray farms, but rather use poultry manure to improve soil nutrients to support higher yields of produce.

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