The cocoa production of Cote d’Ivoire is experiencing a decline due to factors including bad weather and crop diseases, exporters estimate, saying the production of the cash crop should be around 1.9 million tonnes this season, compared to nearly 2.3 million for the last one.
From April 1 to Sept. 30, the government announced a harvest ranging between 450,000 tonnes and 500,000 tonnes, down compared to the 600,000 tonnes for the previous similar period.
Cote d’Ivoire is ranked first in the world in terms of cocoa production, with cocoa allowing for a large part of the population to make a living and feed themselves.
According to experts, weather conditions in recent months have been marked by heavy rains which have had a negative influence on the harvest. Added to this is a disease affecting the shoots of the cocoa tree, often called “Swollen Shoot,” widespread in the southwest and central-west of the country, which are the main cocoa production areas.
“We also notice a lack of interest in cocoa cultivation,” noted Frederic Kouadio, an agronomist, emphasizing that cocoa cultivation required periods of regular rain and sunshine.
According to the experts, concern over declining cocoa harvests in Cote d’Ivoire has caused a sudden rise in global cocoa prices in recent weeks.
Cote d’Ivoire produced 2.4 million tonnes of cocoa in 2022.