The Russia and Ukraine war keeps impacting global food supply chains and Ghana’s major export earner, cocoa, is not left out.

Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, says the situation has skyrocketed fertiliser prices, making it next to impossible to import the needed ingredients for cocoa cultivation.

Speaking to a newly constituted management committee, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD called for an emergency national strategy for cocoa farmers, saying, the acute shortage of fertilisers will last for the next two years.

“The coming years will be very difficult for us as a sector, and for our farmers because the war in Ukraine has come to compound the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic to the extent that the basic ingredients needed in producing fertilisers and other chemicals are going to be difficult to come by. We have to brace ourselves for the coming years and expect that the price of fertiliser will not be the same – even getting the fertiliser will be a challenge,” he revealed.

But COCOBOD has resolved to avert any impact this development could have on the cocoa production for the 2021/2022 cocoa crop season.

The COCOBOD CEO thus called for a national crop strategy that will see to the prioritisation of massive local production of fertiliser inputs to make for the acute shortage of fertilisers.

“It will mean that the management committee will have to come up with a strategic direction for our cocoa farmers. This is to ensure our production target is not affected,” he added.

COCOBOD inaugurated a three-member special committee including the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), the Seed Production Division (SPD) and the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, all set up to facilitate the research and development of cocoa production.

COCOBOD dismisses reports of not accounting for $1.3 billion syndicated loan

Meanwhile, COCOBOD has dismissed media reports that it’s unable to account for $1.3 billion syndicated loan.

In a statement, it said it has drawn down $1.15 billion out of the $1.3 billion facility procured for the 2021/2022, which has gone into financing the purchase of cocoa and other industry costs.

“Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has taken notice of a news story that a Member of Parliament has accused the government and COCOBOD of not accounting for a $1.3 billion syndicated loan for the 2020/2021 crop season”.

“Contrary to the assertions of the MP for Juabeso, Kwabena M. Akandoh, COCOBOD has met all its statutory requirements and agreements with its financial partners in accounting for the syndicated loan for the 2020/2021 which closed in September 2021”, the statement further pointed out.

“Information about payments to LBCs (Licensed Buying Companies) can be verified from the LBCs and COCOBOD, to avoid putting out false information”, it added.”