- Title: IVORY COAST: Ivorian cocoa farmers strike, some burn beans
- Date: 17th October 2006
- Summary: (BN14) ANYAMA, IVORY COAST (18 K EAST OF ABIDJAN) (OCTOBER 16, 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FARMERS UNLOADING COCOA BEANS FROM TRUCK SOUNDBITE (French) DUMBIA BRAHIMA SAYING: ''We will block all goods going to Abidjan. Nothing will go to Abidjan. Inside the country people are busy blocking all trucks going to Abidjan. We will keep doing that until we are satisfied." CLOSE UP OF BEANS BURNING COCOA BEANS BURNING WITH FARMERS WATCHING IN BACKGROUND MORE FARMERS WATCHING VARIOUS OF COCA BEANS BURNING
- Embargoed: 1st November 2006 12:00
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA3CLPEQ1LEQO979RG48RGANYBT
- Story Text: Cocoa farmers in top world grower Ivory Coast began an indefinite strike on Monday (October 16), disrupting deliveries to ports for export, and some producers burned their beans to demand higher prices.
The main cocoa farmers' association, Anaproci, which groups around 80 percent of Ivorian growers, called the stoppage to demand a better farmgate price and more financing for farmer-owned cooperatives.
Buyers and exporters in the war-divided West African state reported an immediate impact from the strike on arrivals of cocoa from the bush.
Aiba N'Guessan told Reuters: ''They must take us into consideration. If they don't listen to us bananas will not reach Abidjan anymore and no agriculture goods will reach the city.''
Strike organisers say they will also block deliveries of fruit and vegetables from the bush to markets in Abidjan -- a city with a population of roughly five million.
At Anyama, just north of Abidjan, farmers unloaded cocoa from a lorry and set fire to the beans with petrol.
Last week, the Coffee and Cocoa Bourse (BCC) marketing body had set an unchanged farmgate guideline cocoa price for the new season of 400 CFA francs per kg, which farmers say is too low.
Ivory Coast has been divided since a brief 2002/2003 civil war between a rebel-held north and a government-controlled south. International efforts to steer the country towards reunification and elections have been delayed by feuding between the rival factions.
In Abidjan's business district, several hundred cocoa farmers protested on Monday outside BCC offices. Police with riot gear guarded the entrance.
Some of the protesters brandished boards reading "Farmers are fed up" and "We want 600 CFA francs per kg".
The strike comes at a busy time in the Ivorian cocoa sector with the Oct-Sept 2006/07 season just getting under way.
Volumes of beans arriving at the ports have been rising by the week as (Oct-March) main crop harvesting gathers pace.
Political tension also is running high as delayed elections due by the end of the month cannot be held. African Union leaders are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss a framework for a new transition to a vote.
The meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is expected to recommend President Laurent Gbagbo remains in office for another year until elections can take place.
Coffee bean deliveries to ports in Africa's No.1 robusta grower would also be blocked by the strike but exports of coffee and cocoa already stocked in the port were expected to go ahead.
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