The Managing Director of Cargill Ghana Ltd Kojo Amoo-Gottfried has hinted that the rate at which the cedi is depreciating against other foreign currencies is becoming a threat to Ghana’s cocoa sector as more people are smuggling cocoa beans to neighboring Ivory Coast.
As of November last year, the cedi had lost 17 percent to the US dollar on the forex market, compared to 16.2 percent depreciation by the South African rand.
The cedi has already depreciated by three per cent against the major international currencies in January this year.
The US dollar, which used to sell on the local foreign exchange market for GH¢2.20 before the 2013 Christmas, is now selling at GH¢2.60, while the British pound, which used to be sold for about GH¢3, is now selling at GH¢4.20.
According to Mr. Amoo- Gottfried, THE Ivorian CEFA is more stable because it is linked to the euro, so people smuggle cocoa from Ghana to Ivory Coast to ensure that got value for their money.
“Most cocoa farmers around border towns are smuggling the cocoa beans to the various neigbouring countries to get value for their cocoa rather than selling them in Ghana,” he said.
He however believes the cocoa sector is doing well and has a brighter future as compared to some other countries, but fears the depreciation of the currency can destroy the sector.
Amoo-Gottfried said government must work hard to stabilize the cedi against other foreign currencies to help cocoa farmers enjoy value for their produce.