According to the ICCO, Indonesia’s cocoa production for the current year will be even smaller than previously predicted. In February, the organization predicted a total production of 510,000 tons. Now the estimate cited numbers “well below 500,000 tons.”
The current shortfall, however, has nothing to do with the El Niño I wrote about in my last post. The ICCO attributes the second year of declining production to the age of the trees in Sulawesi, the depletion of soils and the lack of knowledge among farmers on how to deal with these problems.
But the looming El Niño will further reduce production for the cocoa year starting in October. At a minimum, it will impact the replanting efforts planned by the government. Officials in the Agriculture department expect a delay of two months.