Ghana's Parliament has approved an $800 million loan agreement between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial institutions to finance the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2023/2024 Crop Season.
The loan will be used to purchase about 47 percent of the projected 850,000 tonnes of cocoa beans from farmers through the Licensed Buying Companies for the 2023/2024 cocoa season.
Meanwhile, COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it can secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.
Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.
A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”
The 2023/2024 loan facility disbursement is proposed to be utilized for cocoa purchases and related operations as listed below:
Farmers’ services cost – cocoa diseases and pest controls – fertilizer distribution and application – farmer pension scheme – cocoa roads – industry inputs (jute sacks, twine, stencil ink, passbooks.) – child education support
Share of Net FOB -payments to farmers – buyer’s margin – hauler’s margin – international marketing operations (storage and shipping operations) – disinfestation/grading and sealing cost -finance cost -COCOBOD and divisions cost other costs/scale inspection and phytosanitary inspections -rehabilitation -planting of coffee and sheanut operations.