October 2, 2017 / 2:31 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ghana president pledges to keep cocoa farmer prices unchanged

(Adds price details, background)

KUMASI, Ghana, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ghana’s president Nana Afuko-Addo said on Monday the government would ensure that producer prices for cocoa remained unchanged for the upcoming 2017/18 season starting this month, keeping levels above those in neighbouring Ivory Coast.

“The price review for the coming season will not leave cocoa farmers short-changed,” he said at a cocoa conference in the city of Kumasi. “Government will make sure that the producer prices remain unchanged.”

The world’s number two cocoa producer has kept the price at which it buys beans from farmers at $1,914 per tonne since a year ago, creating a large price gap with its neighbour Ivory Coast which holds the number one spot.

At the weekend, Ivory Coast set the farmer price at the same level of last season’s mid-crop but below growers’ expectations, raising concerns about cross-border smuggling. Ghana’s 2017/18 cocoa season opens on Oct. 13 and Ivory Coast’s opened on Oct. 1.

Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by David Evans

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