Each year, Ghana Cocoa Board arranges an international syndicated finance facility to pre-finance cocoa purchases in Ghana for the main cocoa season which usually commences in October.
Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has already raised $1.3 billion Pre-export Receivable Backed Trade Finance for the purchase of cocoa for the 2018/2019 crop season. This was also sourced from an international syndicate of banks to support the purchase of cocoa. This syndicate facility is usually the largest for soft commodities globally and has run successfully since 1993.
COCOBOD on-lends the funds they borrow from the international market to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to purchase cocoa from the farmers on its behalf. Ghana is still the second largest cocoa producer in the world, with Ivory Coast still in the first position. The government have had issues with growing the sector due to the conversion of cocoa lands to “galamsey” activities over the years and many more.
This year the country intend to grow their position from 850,000 tonnes to 900,000 tonnes, hence a lot of projects including spraying, provision of free seedlings and other projects under Government’s “Planting for food and Jobs”.
To add an extra 50,000 tonnes, the government need to take some keep steps to avert issues which negatively affect the growth of the industry, and identify some key new areas to harness growth.
One of the key development agents in Mfantseman municipality who recently toured the communities with investors for factory establishment, Mr James Korsah-Brown in an interview mentioned that areas in northern Mfantseman in the central region harbours cocoa growing areas, but has not been harnessed.
He mentioned that areas like Kyeakor, Kaawonssrew, Kyekyewowere, Kwakrom, Akobima Gendaama and Ohenkwaa are some of the areas to be harnessed to improve productivity, to support the gap being projected by the government.
He was also optimistic that the area could eventually benefit from cocoa stimulus package which will eventually improve the lives of the people. The area could potentially be the next destination for LBCs hence must create partnerships now for mutual benefits.