Increase for cocoa farmers | NOW Grenada

by Linda Straker

  • Price of wet cocoa will be EC$1.50 per pound; dry cocoa will be EC$3.85 per pound
  • More than 2,400 active cocoa farmers on the island
  • Grenada Cocoa Association produces Jouvay brand chocolate

An increase in price per tonne on the world market for cocoa has caused the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA) to increase the amount it pays to farmers for wet and dry cocoa. “I am pleased to announce that as from Monday, 3 February 2020 the price of cocoa will go back to EC$1.50 per pound,” Christopher Williams, Chairman of the GCA said during a ceremony to commission its first solar drying wall at the Mt Horne Cocoa Fermenting Station in St Andrew.

The first phase of the project was completed at a cost of US$166,851 with US$89,593 contributed by Global Environment Facility (GEF) small grant project. This technology utilises energy from the sun to produce heat as an alternative to burning hydrocarbons. This will create a product that is free of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) contaminants, increase drying capacity, reduce energy costs and create resilient infrastructure for thousands of farmers.

As part of the justification for the increase to farmers, Williams said that at the start of the cocoa production year in October 2019, the association increased the cost by 10 cents. In 2017, the association which was paying farmers EC$1.50 per pound, decided to drop the price for wet cocoa because of a drop in the world market.

The new price was EC$1.35 and it remained at that price for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 production year. Dry cocoa, which is cocoa that has already gone through the process of drying by a farmer, will now be EC$3.85 per pound. The old price was EC$3.47.

According to the association, there are more than 2,400 active cocoa farmers on the island. Besides exporting raw cocoa, the association in recent times embarked on a value-added product, and is the producer of Jouvay brand chocolate.

Information on the International Cocoa Organisation website shows that in December 2019 cocoa was sold for US$2,444.71 per tonne and in January 2020, it rose to US$2,603.07 per tonne.

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