The Africa Development Bank says a $600 million loan facility for COCOBOD is in the final stages of approval.
The multi-million-dollar agreement is a milestone for the Bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in South Africa.
Speaking to JoyBusiness after a delegation of the bank paid a visit to the management of COCOBOD, Dean of Executive Directors for Afdb, Bright Okogu said the facility will hopefully reflect in the coffers of the Central Bank in the coming months.
“It is a process and we are in the finishing stages. We welcome the decision by the Government of Ghana and COCOBOD to strengthen and expand the cocoa sector. This facility will go a long way to facilitate various projects being undertaken by the government,” he stated.
The high-powered meeting between Directors of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and management of Ghana Cocoa Board saw both entities commit to providing sufficient funding to entrepreneurs in the cocoa value chain to advance processing of cocoa.
Mr Okogu explained this initiative among other interventions will be captured in the soon to be disbursed 600 million dollars syndicated receivables-backed term loan from the bank to COCOBOD.
Meanwhile, Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo has been outlining priorities of the Ghana Cocoa Board this year.
According to him, funding and support for entrepreneurs to go into the processing of cocoa as well as the expansion of Ghana’s cocoa market base are key.
COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production. These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms.
The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.
Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually.