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Cocoa pricing options and their implications for poverty and industrialization in Ghana

Mulangu, Francis M., Miranda, Mario J., Maïga, Eugenie W.H.
Agricultural economics 2017 v.48 no.4 pp. 481-490
beans, cocoa beans, income, industrialization, inventories, markets, poverty, prices, profits and margins, public policy, stochastic processes, subsidies, Ghana
This study establishes the cocoa pricing subsidization options that will stabilize processors’ throughput while meeting the multiple, but possibly conflicting, public policy objectives of maximizing government revenue and reducing poverty among Ghanaian cocoa beans producers. To evaluate these options, we construct and numerically simulate a structural dynamic stochastic model of a representative cocoa processor who maximizes the present value of current and expected future profits, given prevailing market conditions and cocoa pricing policies. Our results indicate that, given current processing capacity, the Ghana Cocoa Board would have to offer a 92% discount to processors on main‐crop beans in order to achieve the industrial goal of locally processing 40% of annual production. This would cause light‐crop beans used in processing to be completely displaced by main‐crop beans carried over as inventory. It would also increase mean processor revenues by 167%, but cause the Ghana Cocoa Board to operate at a significant deficit, implying that the stated goal could only be achieved through massive government subsidies.