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Gunmen Guard Cocoa Farms In Uganda As Prices Soar

Some Ugandan farmers have reportedly hired armed men to protect their cocoa as thieves try to cash in on the increased value of their crop.

Dry weather conditions in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producers, have driven global cocoa prices to their highest levels in more than a decade.

According to Mutanga Grace, a Ugandan cocoa farmer and CEO of Mkulima Exports Uganda, approximately 30% of the cocoa beans produced in the East African country are stolen.

Cocoa farmers are resorting to hiring armed guards and trained dogs to safeguard their crops, which serve as a primary component for various products such as chocolates, ice-creams, and cakes. This move is aimed at protecting their yield from potential theft and damage.

“Cocoa in the country right now is like a hotcake, someone takes little but has taken a lot, a lot of money,” he told BBC Newsday.

Cocoa is Uganda’s fourth largest export commodity, after coffee, tea and fish.

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