Ghana Cocoa Seen Damaged Without Government Pesticides

Cocoa farmers in Ghana, the second-largest producer of the beans, are still waiting for pesticides from the government with recent rain making the crop vulnerable to disease.

Farmers should receive chemicals and fertilizers within two weeks, said Noah Amenyah, spokesman for the Ghana Cocoa Board. Nicholas Kobina, who supervises 200,000 farmers in western Ghana, said the deliveries are three weeks late.

Ghana will produce 900,000 metric tons of beans for the 12 months that end Sept. 30, the highest in three years, according to the Ghana Cocoa Board. Farmers are now collecting the smaller light crop estimated at 50,000 tons. Even with the increased output, global supply is lagging behind demand, sending prices 13 percent higher this year in New York.

“We really need the spraying of the chemicals now or else we risk losing the light crop to diseases,” Kobina, 83, said by phone yesterday.

Rain is expected to decrease the rest of this week in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the biggest producer, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Some “minor dryness” is seen in western Ghana, it said in a report yesterday.

“The farmers’ concerns are quite speculative,” Amenyah said.

Cocoa for September delivery rose 0.6 percent to 1,921 pounds ($3,261) a ton on NYSE Liffe in London by 12:05 p.m., advancing for the first time in three days. Cocoa for delivery in the same month advanced 0.7 percent to $3,063 a ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

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