Top Cocoa Producers to Create Buffer Stock to Influence World Prices

ABIDJAN � Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa producers, plan to create a buffer stock of beans with the aim of exerting more influence over world prices, a senior Ivorian government official told Reuters on Thursday.

The two West African neighbors produce over 60 percent of the global supply of the chocolate ingredient but have been hit hard by a sharp drop in world prices caused mainly by a glut resulting from bumper crops this season.

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) forecasts a global surplus of 371,000 tons this season.

"The countries agreed that we needed specialized warehouses to allow us to conserve cocoa so that we can regulate supply and push up prices," Narcisse Sepy Yessoh, chief of staff to Ivory Coast Trade Minister Souleymane Diarrassouba, told Reuters.

He said the two governments submitted a request in May to the Abidjan-based African Development Bank for a $1.2 billion loan to pay for the infrastructure. They hope the financing will be approved before the end of this year to allow for stocking in the 2018/19 season, he added.

Under the plan, Ivory Coast will build six warehouses with total capacity of 250,000 tons near to the main growing areas. Yessoh declined to comment on the infrastructure planned for Ghana.

Ivory Coast is on track to produce a record 2 million tons of cocoa this year, but Yessoh said the government planned to limit output going forward and focus its efforts on improving quality.

"Must we continue on this path, flooding the market with beans in abundance and driving down prices to the detriment of our economies and people? We don't think so," he said on the sidelines of an ICCO meeting.

The two nations, along with Africa's third-largest producer Cameroon, said on Thursday they would seek to modify the International Cocoa Agreement, the founding document of the ICCO � the world body of producer and consumer countries.

The ICCO's Executive Director Jean-Marc Anga said the body would open talks between the producers and the European Union in partnership with the cocoa and chocolate industry to reach a deal on a revised agreement.

The declaration made by the three nations at the ICCO meeting did not offer details. But Yessoh said the countries would seek to reinstate a clause creating a buffer stock that was included in the original agreement signed in 1973 but later removed.

"How much are we going to stock? These are quotas to be defined between producer countries. These questions are still with the politicians. We're waiting for them to decide," he said.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Senzeni Zokwana: Imbizo on small scale fisheries in Richards Bay

Remarks by honourable Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries during his Imbizo on small scale fisheries in Kwasokhulu, Richards BayProgramme Director,Inkumkani neeNkosi zomhlaba wazo;Executive Mayor of the District Municipalit...

New members for MDDA board

President Jacob Zuma has appointed Nkgakga Monare and Tasneem Carrim as members of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board. This was done in terms of section 4 (1) (c) read with section 7 (2) of the Media Development and Diversity Agenc...

Hawks nab notorious syndicate

The Hawks have arrested five suspects who are members of a notorious syndicate as they were allegedly en route to poach wildlife.The syndicate comprising of individuals aged between 35 and 41 from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were arrested in ...

‘We all share a responsibility’ to combat terrorism, President of Senegal tells world leaders

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, the President of Senegal expressed his desire for a peaceful and secure African continent � one that does not serve as a sanctuary for terrorists defeated elsewhere in the world.

Senegal, I reiterate, strongly condemns terrorism, wherever it strikes. Nothing, let alone religion, can justify such violent fanaticism, President Macky Sall of Senegal told world leaders gathered at the 72nd annual general debate.

At the same time, he underscored, we cannot accept that Islam is associated with violence. We cannot accept that Muslims be held responsible for violence that they themselves are victims to.

We are all concerned by the terrorist threat and therefore have a responsibility to work together to find concerted solutions to this scourge, he noted.

Noting that this was the purpose of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, the fourth session of which will be held in November, President Sall informed the Assembly that the Forum will focus on responding to violent extremism.

We want an Africa in peace and security; an Africa that does not serve as a sanctuary for terrorist groups fought and defeated elsewhere, the President noted, explaining that because of this reason Senegal � remaining committed to seven peace missions, including the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in Mali (MINUSMA) � welcomes the efforts of the G5 Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad) and the partner countries in the fight against terrorism.

Source: UN News Centre