Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in collaboration with a consortium of over 20 international banks, has signed an agreement that will bring in an amount of one billion, seven hundred million United States dollars ($1,700,000,000.00) to the Ghanaian economy.
This comes with an additional two hundred million United States dollars ($200,000,000.00) available on demand for re-drawing from April 2015 to May 2015 for the light crop season.
The facility, which is the largest soft commodity deal in sub-Saharan Africa, was oversubscribed by 15 percent.
The signing of the Receivables Backed Trade Finance Facility for cocoa purchases for the 2014/2015 crop year took place on Thursday, September 11, 2014 in Paris, France.
Since the 1992/1993 crop season, COCOBOD has consistently and successfully obtained a receivables-backed syndicated loan each year from the international money market to finance its cocoa purchases and ensure that farmers receive prompt payment for their produce.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, thanked the consortium of banks for the support over the years, assuring them that his outfit would continue to work hard to promote the growth of the cocoa industry.
He indicated that the continuous support of the banks over the years is a manifestation of the confidence the banks have in the economy of Ghana through many years of successful partnership.
Dr. Opuni said ongoing interventions such as the mass spraying exercise, rehabilitation of diseased and moribund cocoa farms, extension services as well as disease control programmes have been enhanced to ensure the sustenance of the cocoa industry.
On other initiatives taken to improve the welfare of cocoa farmers, Dr Opuni added that this year, COCOBOD has introduced a free fertilizer application programme to increase yield and boost farmers’ income.
“Realistic prices would be paid to cocoa farmers to build their confidence in the cocoa business and encourage the young generation to go into cocoa farming”, he said.
Mr. Thomas Stahl, Head of Corporate banking CEEMEA at Deutsche Bank applauded the Government of Ghana, COCOBOD and all stakeholders in the Ghanaian cocoa industry for their hard work and efforts in sustaining the industry and making the facility possible.
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