Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana : Will AfCFTA offer cocoa farmers a solution?

By Carien du Plessis
Posted on Wednesday, 22 June 2022 17:40

Ghanian cocoa farmer, Aziz Kwadio, 34, dries cocoa beans at his farm in the village of Essam, in the western region in Ghana 20 June 2019. REUTERS/Ange Aboa

Cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana still live in poverty, three years after a $400-per-ton surcharge was supposed to improve their lives, as buyers have found ways to drive down the price.

Alex Assanvo, the executive secretary of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, believes the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could offer solutions.

Bringing processing home

“It is my big dream,” Assanvo says, to push cocoa as a pilot project and show how the AfCFTA can be deployed to encourage more processing of raw commodities on the continent. “This is probably one of the best tools we have to start promoting local processing. We need to bring it to a level where processing becomes cheaper in Africa.”