Ivory Coast: Heavy Rains Lower Cocoa Production

The Ivory Coast, known as the world’s top cocoa maker, has faced huge difficulties in its cocoa industry during the 2023-2024 season. Heavy rains and flooding have unleashed devastation on cocoa farms, prompting a suspension of cocoa export contracts for the current season.

This development comes when cocoa costs have taken off to record levels because of worries over supplies. The ramifications of this suspension are far-reaching, affecting not only the Ivory Coast’s economy, but also major commodities trading houses and chocolate makers worldwide.

Ivory Coast: Heavy Rains Lower Cocoa Production

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Sources Related to Cocoa and Cocoa Producing Countries (For R&D)

Cocoa and Ivory Coast’s Economy

Cocoa is a crucial pillar of the Ivorian economy, representing 40% of its export earnings, as reported by the United Nations. The nation heavily depends on this commodity to support its economic growth and development.

The suspension of cocoa export contract is probably going to significantly affect the country’s financial stability and development plans. As cocoa costs have risen forcefully because of supply concerns, stopping deals will overburden the country’s revenue streams.

The suspension of cocoa export contracts isn’t just a catastrophe for Ivory Coast yet additionally to significant commodities trading houses such as Cargill and Olam, and prominent chocolate makers like Barry Callebaut, Hershey, and Nestle.

These organizations intensely rely upon Ivory Coast’s cocoa output to satisfy their worldwide needs for chocolate creation. With the suspension set up, they may face challenges in securing enough cocoa to sustain their operations, leading to potential price hikes and supply constraints in the global cocoa market.

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Cocoa farming requires specific weather conditions, with abundant rains interspersed with long sunny spells. The Ivory Coast normally encounters its stormy season among April and November, which is critical for cocoa cultivation.

Nonetheless, the current year’s heavy and persistent rains have caused flooding in key cocoa-creating districts, seriously harming cocoa farms. The torrents of rain have prompted a few difficulties for cocoa framers, including inaccessibility to farms, potential diseases, and significant damage to cocoa trees and flowers.

The situation of cocoa farmers in the impacted areas is troubling. Jean Paul Kadjo, a farmer from Akressi, close to Aboisso, shared the battles they face: ” “We experienced three days of flooding around May 15, and the situation is not improving because the rains do not stop.”

Farmers like Kouman Kouadio are stressed over the danger to their livelihoods, as the heavy rains have made cocoa blossoms fall rashly and decay, bringing about a hopeless standpoint for upcoming harvests.

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Other than the harm brought about by the heavy rains, the prolonged wet conditions have led to the spread of brown rot or black pod disease. This fungal infection affects cocoa pods and trees, further exacerbating the challenges faced by farmers. The disease can crush whole cocoa plantation, prompting a huge decrease in cocoa output.

The worries over cocoa supplies have sent cocoa futures costs to a 46-year high in recent, increasing by more than 27% since January. The suspension of cocoa export contracts from the world’s biggest cocoa maker has escalated these concerns. As price surge, cocoa purchasers overall will confront greater expenses, which may eventually be passed on to consumers, impacting the chocolate market.

To relieve the effect of the cocoa supply lack, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) is exploring options to stabilize production and ensure a balance in cocoa volumes. CCC Director General Yves Brahima Kone stated, “We hope that the production from January to March will help balance our volumes, otherwise, it will be a problem.”

Encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable practices, diversifying agricultural practices, and investing in research and technology could be potential strategies to build resilience in the cocoa sector.

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