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Cocoa production Mid-year cocoa production to decline sharply due to dry weather

Ghana last year 15,500 tons of cocoa beans from neighbouring Ivory Coast in the 2014/2015 crop season, according to the Finance Minister Seth Terkper.

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Dry weather and Harmattan wind are expected to reduce sharply cocoa output in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) and industry sources said this week.

“We do not expect the mid-crop harvest to be as high as last year in Ivory Coast when it was 514,000 tonnes,” said Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of inter-governmental body ICCO, Reuters quoted him as saying. “In Ghana, it’s a similar situation.”

Ghana last year 15,500 tons of cocoa beans from neighbouring Ivory Coast in the 2014/2015 crop season, according to the Finance Minister Seth Terkper.

Ecobank predicted cocoa production in Ghana to fall to between 730,000 and 750,000 tonnes following an outbreak of fungal black pod disease last year.

Ghana is the world second largest producer of cocoa after Ivory Coast.

Ghana produced 900,000 tonnes of cocoa in the 2013/2014 season, according to Cocobod.

Cocobod took steps this month to improve production by distributing free cocoa seedlings to farmers from 50 million to 60 million across the country.

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Cocobod says it will continue to introduce incentive packages and provide strong technical and extension services support to raise production levels and returns to the farmer.

Poor harvest in Ghana is driving up price of the commodity in the world market.

"There has been a crop failure and the latest indication is that our best (output) is around 690,000-700,000 tonnes," a government source who declined to be identified told Reuters.

Ghana could lose as much as 25 percent of its projected cocoa output this season as harsh winds and a lack of rain confound efforts to boost yields in the world's second-largest producer, a government source has said, Reuters reported.

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