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25.01.2006 Business & Finance

COCOBOD imports jute sacks

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 25, GNA - The Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is importing jute sacks from neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire as a stop-gap measure to resolve the acute shortage that was hampering haulage of cocoa beans from buying centres for shipment, a top management official said on Wednesday.

"In the last few days, we have taken delivery of an appreciable number of jute sacks from Cote d'Ivoire for quick distribution to buyers to offset the current shortage," Deputy COCOBOD Chief Executive, Mr Tony Fofie told the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

Cocoa industry operators, especially licensed buying agents, had complained that there were no jute sacks to bag their cocoa, saying the situation was "seriously hampering" shipment and, in some cases, quality, as some buyers were compelled to use fertiliser bags while heaps of the beans were also left on the floor.

Mr Fofie said COCOBOD had ordered a total of 5,000 bales of jute sacks from Cote d'Ivoire the world's biggest producer of the commodity, and about 50 per cent of the order had been received. A bale contains 300-400 sacks.

Supply from COCOBOD's traditional sources, mainly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had delayed beyond expectation due to "unforeseen operational hitches," Mr Fofie said.

He said COCOBOD was renewing earlier efforts to revive the defunct Kumasi Jute Factory to permanently end the recurrence of sack shortages.

Some major Licensed Buying Companies confirmed on Wednesday that they had received new allocations of jute sacks from COCOBOD but said they needed more in order to operate at full scale.

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