$1.8bn cocoa loan exhausted – Hackman reveals

The $1.8billion Cocoa Syndicated Loan meant for this year’s cocoa production season has been exhausted, Chairman of the Ghana COCOBOD, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman has disclosed.

According to him, there is no money although COCOBOD is yet to finish with the purchase of the crop.

“The syndicated loan of $1.8million that we had hoped to use for this production year, unfortunately, Mr President, is all gone and we are yet to finish the purchase of the crops,” he told President Nana Akufo-Addo after the new board of COCOBOD was sworn in on Tuesday, 28 March at the Flagstaff House.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman noted that the new board will have to “immediately try to organise some financing to carry on the process” while he bemoaned that the decline in production exacerbated the situation.

He disclosed that cocoa prices have fallen from about $3,200 per tonne to around $2,200. “We’ve lost a whopping $1000per tonne. So, on the back of a production of 850,000 tonnes, we’ve lost $850 million; that is [one] of the problems that we have to cope with,” Mr Owusu-Agyeman added.

The former Works and Housing Minister, however, noted that the board was not constituted to complain but to fix things and assured the president that although there were enormous challenges facing the sector, it would devise a mechanism to redeem the image of the sector.