The Public Affairs Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Fiifi Boafo has assured that his outfit will in a few weeks secure about $200 million dollars to settle the arrears owed some License Buying Companies (LBCs) and farmers across the country.
This follows yesterday’s summoning of the CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, over concerns raised by MP for Buem, Kofi Adams regarding COCOBOD’s indebtedness to some LBCs for cocoa supplied by farmers across the country.
Commenting on the invitation of his CEO to Parliament, Mr. Boafo admitted that some LBC’s were indeed owed, but blamed the situation largely on the impact of COVID-19 on the cocoa value chain around the world.
“We admit that to an extent the flow of cash to cocoa farmers has not been the very best, but it is a challenge we’ve had which we are dealing with and to a very large extent we have managed the situation. But we admit that there is the need for us to quickly clear some of the debt for the LBC’s to be able to settle the cocoa farmers. The challenge to a very large extent has been influenced by COVID-19.”
“Because of COVID-19 consumption and trading in terms of pricing has dropped, which has led to trade housing limiting their processing capacity which affects your ability to raise funds and all that. The assuring part is that the $1.3 billion COCOBOD contracted to pay cocoa farmers we have done a drawdown of about $1.1 billion already, the expectation is that in the coming weeks we will be able to draw down the rest to be able to clear some of the debt available,” he added.