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UPDATE 1-Ghana to maintain cocoa farmer price in coming season

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ACCRA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Ghana will keep the price it pays cocoa farmers unchanged or even increase it for the 2017/18 season, which starts next month, despite a drop in world prices, industry regulator Cocobod said on Thursday.

Bumper crops in major producers have created a supply glut this season, with the International Cocoa Organization predicting a global surplus of 371,000 tonnes of beans.

The resulting decline in prices forced top grower Ivory Coast to slash its farmers price by 36 percent in March. But Ghana, the world's number two producer, has kept its price unchanged since October.

"As for the farmers' price, it is non-negotiable ... We're determined to at least keep it at current levels if we cannot increase it," Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of sector regulator Cocobod told Reuters in an interview.

He said Ghana expected to produce 950,000 tonnes of beans in the current season, its highest output since a record 2010/11 season yielded 1 million tonnes.

"Overall, the goal is to increase productivity per hectare and boost national output," Aidoo said. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)