Workers fill sacks with cocoa beans in Soubre, Ivory Coast. Photo: Reuters.

INTERNATIONAL –  Consumer price inflation in Ivory Coast slowed to 0.5 percent year-on-year in September, down from 0.9 percent in August, data from the National Statistics Institute showed on Thursday.

Food and soft drink prices in the world’s top cocoa producer slowed 0.6 percent year-on-year, while housing and utilities prices rose 2.2 percent. Transport costs gained 1.1 percent.

Ivory Coast’s economy accounts for around 40 percent of the eight-nation West African CFA franc currency zone.

Recently, Ivory Coast said that it is set to raise the minimum pay for cocoa farmers for the first time in two years after a recovery in global prices, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The world’s top cocoa grower will increase the so-called farmgate price to between 750 CFA francs ($1.34) and 800 francs per kilogram for the bigger of the two annual harvests that begins next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Minimum pay was 700 francs per kilogram for last main crop.