The Chair of the Supreme Consultative Council (SCC) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Alhaji Idriss Alhassan, has said bad weather conditions accounted for low cocoa production in the 2014/2015 season.
According to him, government provided the necessary inputs and logistics like free seedlings, fertilisers and insecticides to guarantee good yield in the cocoa industry but the rainfall delayed and the subsequent bush fires destroyed many cocoa farms in the cocoa growing areas.
As a result, Ghana last year imported 15,500 tons of cocoa beans from neighbouring Ivory Coast in the 2014/2015 crop season, according to the Finance Minister Seth Terkper.
The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) and industry had forecast cocoa output in Ghana and Ivory Coast to decline sharply.
“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, said. “In Ghana, it’s a similar situation.”
Ghana is projected to lose as much as 25 percent of its projected cocoa output as dry winds and lack of rains take a toll on cocoa growing areas.
"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.
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.