Gov’t seeks parliamentary approval for US$1.3bn to buy cocoa

Government is seeking parliamentary approval to borrow US$1.3 billion to finance the purchase of cocoa for the 2020/2021 crop season.

An additional GHS6.5 million in tax waivers has also been presented to Parliament.

The requests were made before the Finance Committee of Parliament on Monday, August 10, 2020.

The House is expected to debate and approve the request or otherwise before it goes on recess later this week.

It will be recalled that the government in 2019 signed the US$1.3 billion loan for the purchase of some 850,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans from farmers for 2019/2020 crop season.

The amount was a cocoa syndicated loan signed between COCOBOD and some international financial institutions.

COCOBOD in 2019 increased the producer price of beans from GHS7,640 to GHS8,240 per tonne.

With the global fight against COVID-19, most international trading commodities have seen plummeting prices with cocoa also being affected.

The sector is currently in line to benefit from a US$600 million loan facility from the African Development Bank.

The agreement for the funds was signed in November 2019, but the money is yet to hit the accounts of the Bank of Ghana, due to procedural arrangements.

COCOBOD hopeful cocoa season won’t be impacted by Coronavirus

The Ghana Cocoa Board says it has put in place stringent measures to ensure that the 2020/2021 cocoa season is not negatively impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the regulator of Ghana’s cocoa sub-sector, farmers have been supplied with all necessary assistance to keep the production process on track.

Speaking to Citi News, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said farmers were being prepared to take advantage of the critical flowering season.

For this, he said there would be a new emphasis on pruning.

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