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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 13:32 GMT
Ivory Coast hit by cocoa strike
Farmer cuts open ripe cocoa pod
Hundreds of thousands of farmers grow cocoa in Ivory Coast
Workers at Ivory Coast's cocoa management bodies have gone on strike for a second day in a dispute over pay.

Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa grower and the strike means no cocoa will be registered for export at one of the busiest times of the year.

The Ivorian cocoa sector has been hit by strikes this year, though usually it is farmers who strike in protest at low prices and corruption.

Work will resume on Thursday, when unions will meet managers.

"The strike is carrying on today. No worker will be at his post. No cocoa will be registered (for export) today," Augustin Kouassi N'Goran, secretary general of the SYNASGFICC workers' union, told Reuters.

"Work will start again on Thursday," he added.

A separate strike by farmers in the west of the country, set for Wednesday, has been postponed.

Cocoa cash

About two-thirds of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa and much of this is harvested between October and January.

Ivory Coast is as reliant on its income from cocoa as the chocolate industry is on supply from the West African country.

Hundreds of thousands of farmers grow the crop, between them delivering about 40% of the world's cocoa beans.

But the sector has been fraught with allegations of wrongdoing.

In October, President Laurent Gbagbo called for an inquiry into the cocoa sector, amid allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Revenues from cocoa fuelled years of conflict in the country - with political leaders only recently reconciled after a 2002-2003 civil war - a report from Global Witness said earlier in the year.



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