The Ghana Cocoa Board and MoFA have expressed concerns over reports of China’s resolve to produce and export cocoa beans.
COCOBOD has assured stakeholders not to panic about the news of China exporting Cocoa to Belgium.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Fiifi Boafo said looking at the quantity of Cocoa exported by the Chinese, there no cause for alarm. This is because the quantity of cocoa that has been exported by China is quite small and less than one tonne, he added.
“We are concerned due to the fact that if production is increasing at a time when consumption in the world is not increasing, then obviously it will have an effect on the price.”Fiifi Boafo, COCOBOD’s Senior PRO.
Moreover, Mr Fiifi Boafo said “the concern has to do with the fact that would China be able to produce in large quantities and be commercially viable?” He mentioned that cocoa grows between 10° north and 10° south of the equator with climate temperature ranging between 18-33 degrees Celsius. He also added that annual rainfall pattern of about 1500mm to about 2000mm.
“China does not have that geographical location, so it requires a bit of technology grow cocoa.
“Looking at the world market cocoa price, will China be able to produce Cocoa in commercial quantities and make profit with the deployment of that technology?”Fiifi Boafo, COCOBOD’s Senior PRO.
In a related development, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has stated that China’s entry into the cocoa bean production and export market must not damage the Ghanaian cocoa industry.
MoFA plays down fears about China’s Cocoa Exportation
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said Ghana is not only the second-largest producer of cocoa beans in the world. However, Ghana also produces the best premium cocoa beans, which is the envy of other countries, he added.
He said the extraordinary cocoa liquor flavour of Ghana’s cocoa beans make it the first choice consumers and processors crave for.
“You cannot substitute the flavour of our cocoa with any cocoa anywhere in the world. This the country is not ready to surrender to any country.”Dr Akoto Afriyie, Agric Minister
Also, Dr Akoto said China’s current production was very minimal and posed no threat to Ghana. He added that even if the entire Hainan province produced cocoa, it would not come as a threat to Ghana.
“It’s a little island and so if they use the whole island to produce, it cannot meet our production.”Dr Akoto Afriyie, Agric Minister
Another advantage for Ghana, he said, is China’s growing taste for cocoa products. The Asian giant’s chocolate consumption, which used to be very low, has seen systematic growth in recent years. In his view, Ghana could capitalise on the increasing demand for cocoa products by the Chinese to increase cocoa exports to that country.
In 2019, Ghana’s exports of cocoa and cocoa preparations to China amounted to $128.71 million. This figure comes from the United Nations International Trade Statistics Database.
China’s Cocoa Exportation
The Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) recently reported that South China’s island province of Hainan has exported cocoa beans to Belgium for the first time.
“The first batch of 500kg of cocoa beans, worth $3,600, was produced in Xinglong, a township of Hainan with a tropical climate,”Hao Zhaoyun, CATAS Researcher.
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