ABIDJAN, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has cut the 2019 farmgate price for cashews to 375 CFA francs ($0.6498) per kilogram from 500 CFA francs, the head of the state cotton and cashew council said on Wednesday.
The new price is 25 percent lower than last year because we have taken account of the international context, council director Adama Coulibaly said.
He also forecast a rise in production to 800,000 tonnes this season from 761,000 tonnes in 2018.
Last year, international prices for cashews fell sharply and exporters in Ivory Coast paid less that the state-imposed price.
Cashew farmer Lacina Tuo said he was happy with the minimum guaranteed price.
“If there are people paying at this price, we will have money. We struggled last year to sell,” he said by phone from his farm near the northern town of Tafire.
Vietnam and India are key markets for Ivory Coast’s cashew nuts, but Coulibaly said efforts were ongoing to diversify. He said China intends to buy 100,000 tonnes per year.
The cashew marketing season in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, opened officially on Feb. 15 and will close in late December.
$1 = 577.1200 CFA francs Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Editing by Alessandra Prentice and Jane Merriman