Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, has asked India to source the commodity, which is used in production of chocolates, butter, and dairy products, directly from it as the consumption of cocoa products is going up in the country.

The West African country said it is going to send a high-powered team to India in November to negotiate with the Indian government and potential partners and investors to invest in the processing and value-addition space in their country.

Though it produces 2-2.2 million tonnes of cocoa, or 45 per cent of the total global output of 5 million tonnes, the farmers here are not reaping the benefits. In a bid to cash in on its leadership in cocoa production, the country has decided to direct marketing of the produce.

The farmgate price of 1,000 francs announced by the cocoa regulator on September 30, though hiked by 11.11 per cent over the last year’s 900 francs, is still seen as low, considering the global prices of the commodity.

The cocoa trade is traditionally dominated by established players, who are seen as reaping the bulk of the benefits.

“We are promoting processing of the commodity (as value addition will get us more income) before selling it. We are looking for partnerships and setting up processing facilities,” Colulibaly Siaka Minayaha, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao (the country’s cocoa regulator), told businessline.

“We are going to India in November and meet potential partners and the government leaders to explore direct marketing of cocoa. We will be able to sell cocoa products or semi-finished products,” Yves Brahima Kone, Managing Director of the regulator, said on the sidelines of SARA - Salon international de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales (International Exhibition of Agriculture and Animal Resources).

Asked whether the high duties on the import of cocoa will be a subject of discussion, the regulator said it would be one of the issues slated for discussion.

“It is going to be a win-win situation for both sides,” he said.