In Côte d'ivoire, the cocoa crisis heavily affects the planters

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In Côte d'ivoire, the cocoa crisis heavily affects the planters

To not miss anything of the news african, subscribe to the newsletter of the "World Africa" from this link. Every Saturday at 6 hours, for a week of news and

01 mart 2021 Monday 03:39
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In Côte d'ivoire, the cocoa crisis heavily affects the planters

To not miss anything of the news african, subscribe to the newsletter of the "World Africa" from this link. Every Saturday at 6 hours, for a week of news and debates addressed by the drafting of the " World Africa ".

In one of the shops of the cooperative of the Nawa, stocks of raw cocoa waiting for a truck to the port of San Pedro, in the south-west of Côte d'ivoire, at the end of January 2021.

Every day since the end of December 2020, Yacouba Zango done on the same visit. Between the fields and in his house, this planter passes through the storage location of Kragui, in the hope of discovering that its cocoa is finally gone to the cooperatives. Las. In this village the cacao tree of the west of côte d'ivoire, beans, brown pile up and there's not even enough of a jute bag for storage. "The cocoa is sleeping here, then it means that nobody buys. I do not earn anything. I can hold it again for two months, but after that, I have nothing more for the school and the care of my four children, " despairs Yacouba Zango

This is so in most of the villages of farmers of the Nawa, a region in the south-west of côte d'ivoire and the epicenter of the production of the world's largest producer of brown gold. Cocoa dry in the sun, in the middle of the course or family in the storage. For the last several weeks, the pipeline is blocked, and the first to be affected, the cacaoculteurs, are precisely those who can't afford months without pay.

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If last year was a good year, with more than 2 million tons produced and importers globally respecting the orders, 2021 promises to be more difficult. The effects of the pandemic have begun to be greater with a decrease in the demand and international orders. "Western people eat less chocolate, before that, they have other cats to whip ", imagine Youan Bi, accounting for the co-op ECAMOM, located in the city of Méagui and that makes work 3 900 planters.


But the health crisis is not the only cause of the paralysis that affects the ivorian cocoa. For the specialists in the sector, the Ivory Coast, which is associated in Ghana to force multinationals of chocolate to pay for their beans more expensive, today sees these exercises go against it. The two countries that together produce nearly two-thirds of the beans to the world, have achieved by 2020 a "differential decent income" (DRD) of $ 400 a tonne, adding to the course material. A mechanism designed to improve the condition of life of the cacaoculteurs, which, on average, earn only 6% of the price of a chocolate bar. More than half of them, Côte d'ivoire, live under the poverty line.

The measure had helped president Alassane Ouattara announced in October 2020 – a month before the presidential election – a sharp rise in cocoa prices paid to farmers, from 825 to 1 000 CFA francs per kilo. An increase interpreted by the giants of chocolate as a calculation electioneering and " did not respond to a logic of the market ", said Abah Ofon, an analyst in london with the raw materials market.

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multinational chocolate, cocoa from côte d'ivoire is too expensive. "In public, all the chocolatiers have shown their enthusiasm to bend to the DRD, says a well-informed source, but, in fact, the pill is not passed and they are using the drop in world demand for cocoa to come back and bring the price down. "The tensions began to emerge at the end of November. The Côte d'ivoire and Ghana have accused openly groups Hershey and March do not play the game and manage to buy their cocoa without paying the difference between the income.

Officially, the dispute has since levelled off. But buyers continue to turn away from the beans, and the returns would be of the order of 150 000 tonnes, according to a player in the sector. "Cocoa, it is not the oil, and you realize, once again, that the Ivory Coast does not have the logistical, or financial of the store. And as it is a perishable, time plays against it, " says the analyst Abah Ofon.

"War of the cocoa" of Houphouët-Boigny

another local source of the sector, explains that the Ivory Coast has not the means of its ambitions in this fight against the giants chocolatiers : "She could pull the strings and win this tug of war if she was given the means to store and package all these beans, but the ivorian cocoa is a long history of decision-makers, driven by a vision of benefit in the short term, " he observes, it is what makes the Ivory Coast will finally proceed to the checkout and pay the slate of returns to unblock the situation. "

The period recalls some of the "war of the cocoa" of 1987-1988, when Félix Houphouët-Boigny had blocked the export to attempt to trace back the course. After being stored for over a year, hundreds of thousands of tons of beans, the president of côte d'ivoire was finally resolved to sell them at bargain prices.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Cocoa : "the Côte d'ivoire and Ghana to the offensive against the multinational Hershey and Mars"

The countries of West Africa is difficult to work around, providing almost 40 % of global demand, but, according to good connoisseurs, some chocolate makers seek to source goods and services from other countries.

In the city of San Pedro, the largest port in cocoa in the world, the pill is hard to swallow. "On the more than 80 exporters who normally work, only the five large international 75% of the market is faring a little. And yet, they produce two-thirds of their numbers, business as usual. Much as I don't work for more than a month, "notes an exporter, which sees now that a solution for the campaign in April :" the State to drop the price to 850 francs CFA, or even 800 CFA francs to sell all stocks ". At least, those who have not rotted.

Seydou Traoré dry, a part of his harvest of cocoa beans in the camp of Sessoumabougou, in the south-west of Côte d'ivoire, at the end of January 2021.

In the current context, the main associations of producers ivorians are asking for the resignation of Yves Brahima Koné, the director general of the Conseil café-cacao (CCC), which is the regulatory body in Côte d'ivoire. Rather rare, of the manifestations of farmers have even taken place at some of the regional offices of the CCC, as in Soubré, Yamoussoukro and Daloa. Of nature, rather discreet, Yves Brahima Koné went to give his interpretation of the situation on the public tv channel, against the pandemic of coronavirus.

Avoid the bankruptcy of the planters '

For some cacaoculteurs, it will take time to recover from this crisis. Because a person who sells little or nothing does not have the means to sustain its plots, which impacts necessarily the quality and quantity of cocoa for the following seasons. The less vigilant, or those for which the situation of the press are regularly ripped off by " the margouillats ", the name of the lizard given the trackers wormy who buy their cocoa at a price lower than the official rate.

Number of farmers are even forced to sell or lend their plots to take the shot. "They put their land under warranty for one or two years. That is to say, which they sell in a short period of time, and offer to the buyer, often an investor lebanese or an employee of côte d'ivoire, take advantage of the benefits. And then decide to recover it or to sell it completely. It is interesting in the short term, but this is not viable if the household has no other sources of income, " notes Doulourou Sékongo, delegate of the section in a co-operative of Soubre, at the north of the Nawa.

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in order To avoid the bankruptcy of the planters and the consequences that may ensue, Mr. Sékongo has put in place a system of village bank. As the crisis has also affected domestic : some women farmers would leave their husband don't work it out. "In the villages, families split," said Mr. Sékongo.

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Updated: 01.03.2021 03:39


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