Ghana plans to overtake Ivory Coast as the biggest producer of cocoa in three years as the industry’s regulator boosts supplies of fertilizer to help farmers increase yields.
The world’s second-largest cocoa grower has started training more farmers and helped them to acquire land, Ghana Cocoa Board Chief Executive Officer Stephen Opuni said in an interview in the town of Assin Fosu yesterday. Free fertilizers and free spraying should help lift yields per hectare (2.47 acres) from 450 kilograms (992 pounds) to 1,000 kilograms, he said.
“We will regain our pride as the world’s leader in cocoa production,” Opuni said. “There is going to be an increase in demand for cocoa in the very near future and producing countries must be prepared to meet the high demands.”
Ghana raised its forecast for the harvest in the season that ends Sept. 30 to 900,000 metric tons, the highest since a record crop of 1.025 million tons in 2011, according to a person familiar with government estimates. Ivory Coast will probably reap 1.55 million tons during the same period, according to the International Cocoa Organization.
Ivory Coast overtook Ghana as the top producer in 1978, Noah Amenyah, spokesman for the board, said by phone.