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September 07, 2011

Ghana to give away cocoa seedlings to farmers

by Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa grower after Ivory Coast, will supply free cocoa seedlings to farmers to boost production, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor said on September 6.

"Ghana wants to become No. 1 (grower) again and it is achievable," he said, without giving details of the seedlings plan.

Ghana was the world's top cocoa grower before it was overtaken by neighbouring Ivory Coast in the mid-1970s.

Ghana cocoa output so far this season has broken a record 1 million tonnes, but remains short of Ivory Coast's roughly 1.4 million tonnes, according to official figures.

The West African state relies heavily on agriculture for its revenues, but is expecting a big boost from the start-up of oil income this year from its offshore Jubilee field.

Cocoa analysts have been concerned that Ghana's nascent oil industry would cause the country to lose focus on its cocoa sector, or make its agricultural exports less competitive by triggering inflation.


Reuters

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