The cocoa coast: The board-managed cocoa sector in Ghana: Synopsis

Shashidhara Kolavalli, Marcella Vigneri

After almost 20 years of declining cocoa production, Ghana has been able in the last decade to increase the share of export prices going to producers, more than doubling production. Contrary to Washington Consensus prescriptions, these accomplishments were achieved through reforms but without liberalization of domestic and export marketing. The Cocoa Coast: The Board-Managed Cocoa Sector in Ghana seeks to understand the success of a sector that was not liberalized. The authors identify three major reasons for Ghana’s success in cocoa production. First, cocoa producers receive an increasing share of export prices, because of factors including a stakeholder-advised process for determining producer prices that also pays explicit attention to discouraging smuggling of cocoa to neighboring countries and the popular perception that cocoa performance is tied to the country’s general economic performance. Second, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has a policy of retaining a portion of producer revenues to promote the adoption of yield-enhancing measures. Third, centralized marketing and maintenance of the high export quality for which Ghana is known enables the country to offer stable prices to producers and opportunities for local businesses to participate in the sector and retain some power in the global value chain.