Prices of cocoa beans shoot up to an all-time high due to short supply

The major cocoa producers — Ivory Coast and Ghana — too are facing crop shortage this year due to climate change factors

Updated - February 21, 2024 12:38 pm IST

Published - February 20, 2024 10:51 pm IST - MANGALURU

Workers collect dry cocoa beans.

Workers collect dry cocoa beans. | Photo Credit: SIA KAMBOU

Prices of cocoa beans have shot up to an all-time high with the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Society Ltd. (CAMPCO), Mangaluru, procuring wet beans from farmers at ₹110 per kg and dry beans at ₹400 a kg on Tuesday.

The president of the cooperative A. Kishor Kumar Kodgi, speaking to The Hindu, attributed the unprecedented hike to global shortage in cocoa crop.

With the second harvesting season of the crop, from December to March, coming to an end next month and the first harvesting season commencing from May to July the prices are unlikely to fall, Mr. Kodgi said, stating that the prices are expected to shoot up further.

“The major cocoa producers Ivory Coast and Ghana too are facing crop shortage this year due to climate change factors,” Mr. Kodgi said.

CAMPCO, which owned Karnataka’s only chocolate factory of the cooperative sector at Puttur in Dakshina Kannada since 1986, is forced to heavily rely on Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the supply of beans since past two years due to shortage in supply of beans in the home state (Karnataka), he said.

The rains due to the cyclone in October affected the cocoa crop in Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam regions resulting in a short supply of beans. High prices of arecanut in over two years have made farmers in Karnataka remove cocoa crop (which is an inter-crop) from their arecanut plantations and opt for only arecanut.

“Hence we have been promoting cocoa cultivation as an inter-crop in coconut plantations in Bayaluseeme area for over two years by supplying cocoa saplings at subsidised rates to farmers,” he said.

“We require between 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes of beans per annum for crushing at the factory. Of this, between 4,500 and 5,000 tonnes are required for making our own chocolates and other value-added products. The remaining is required for the works of other private players in the chocolate market,” he said, adding that the co-operative’s procurement in the home state now stood between 1,000 and 1,200 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the wet beans commanded from ₹70 to ₹75 a kg in May, 2023, compared to ₹52 to ₹68 a kg the same time in 2022. Dry beans command ₹240 to ₹245 a kg in May last year when compared to ₹190 a kg during the same season in 2022.

According to the latest statistics available with the Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development for 2021, the country had 97,563 hectares under cocoa crop with the production which stood at 27,072.15 tonnes.

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