Iran to buy cocoa from Ghana
China, India and Iran are finalising trade pacts with the Ghanaian government to buy cocoa directly from the world’s second-biggest producer. « China wants to buy cocoa directly from us – both raw beans and semi-processed. Iran and India also want to do the same. They’ve all spoken to us about it, but we have to consider our international cocoa agreements and commitments, » said Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Ghana’s finance minister.
« Anything we agree to must be for the long term, say 20 years. But we’re very interested in processing. We want to process more cocoa here, » Baah-Wiredu said. Ghana has a semi-liberalised cocoa marketing system in which private companies are involved in buying cocoa from farmers, but exports are centralised by the state-controlled COCOBOD cocoa regulator.
All cocoa, except that which is smuggled out of the country, is sold at fixed prices to the Cocoa Marketing Board. Although most cocoa production is carried out by peasant farmers on plots of less than 3 hectares, a small number of farmers appear to dominate the trade.
Cocoa is grown principally in West Africa, Central and South America and Asia. In order of annual production size, the eight largest cocoa-producing countries at present are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador and Malaysia. These countries represent 90 per cent of world production.