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Ghana’s Latest Attempt to Improve the Livelihoods of its Farmers

The West African has announced an increase of the guaranteed the cocoa price it pays to farmers by 28% per ton for the new growing season. However, the latest increment in the cocoa price means that farmers can afford to plant new cocoa and also employ skilled workers, as opposed to child labor. “The increase in price for cocoa beans will boost the farmers’ morale and we commend Ghana’s leadership for this initiative,” Moses Djan Asiedu, of the World Cocoa Farmers Organization. Low income among cocoa farmers is a big concern because in Ghana, they depend on cocoa for 90% of their income. And due to unforeseeable calamities — such as weather patterns — sometimes they get poor harvests. Ghana is the world’s second-largest exporter of cocoa, after Ivory Coast, and exports around 850,000 metric tons of cocoa each year. Most of this is unprocessed, ready to be turned into chocolate and other products in Europe and the United States. But in recent years, production has fallen by around 30%. Aging cocoa trees, poorly-managed plantations and drought have all played a role in the sector’s decline. If production in Ghana continues to fall, it will have consequences not only domestically, but also for manufacturers internationally.