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ABIDJAN, April 12 Ivory Coast and Ghana, the
world's top cocoa producers, said on Wednesday they would deepen
collaboration and coordinate their production strategies in
order to tackle price volatility.
The two countries, which together account for over 60
percent of the world's cocoa supply, have been hit hard this
season by a sharp drop in world prices that have seen cocoa
futures plummet by around a third since last summer.
That has aggravated the countries' respective budget
deficits and forced Ivory Coast to lower the price it guarantees
"It's become imperative that our countries take decisions on
points concerning production and sustainability and on points
concerning the prickly question of the volatility of prices,"
the head of Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council, Massandje
Toure-Litse, told reporters.
She was speaking after a meeting with her counterpart Joseph
Boahen Aidoo, CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), in Ivory
Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan.
"We have very, very strong involvement at the highest summit
of the state. The two heads of state have given very firm
instructions," Toure-Litse said.
"Henceforth the world cocoa leaders speak with one voice
everywhere and at all times."
The two countries plan to hold regular meetings. They are
also establishing a joint technical committee to discuss how
best to coordinate their production strategies and ensure that
prices are high enough for farmers to keep producing cocoa.
(Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by