Ghana prepares for record cocoa harvest

Farmers harvest cocoa pods at a plantation near Sinfra, Ivory Coast. Photographer: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

Ghana is heading for a record cocoa harvest after favorable weather and government interventions boosted output in the No. 2 producer, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Ghana Cocoa Board has revised its production target to 1.1 million tons for the season that ends in September, the people said, asking not to be named as the information isn’t public. That compares with the board’s initial goal for 900,000 tons and would exceed the nation’s previous record crop of 1.025 million tons a decade ago.

According to Bloomberg, Ghana and the neighbouring Ivory Coast, which produce almost 70% of the world’s cocoa, expanded output just as the pandemic locked down cities around the world, hurting demand. The record harvest could widen a global surplus of the chocolate-making ingredient.

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Ghana’s cocoa board is implementing measures including hand pollination to improve productivity. Cocoa purchases graded and sealed by the industry regulator reached 981,222 tons as of June 17, the people said.

A spokesman for the board declined to immediately comment when reached by phone.