Business News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu has urged COCOBOD to submit their syndicated loan to Parliament before it goes on recess by close of day today in order to avoid difficulties for the next cocoa season.
Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu stated that: “We are adjourning on Wednesday, we are talking about your syndicated loan which will affect the next season, which is usually May, September, October, if we go on recess, we are not coming back, we originally are not going to come back until first week November or first week October.
“So I thought that, you will hurry your steps to have the syndicated loan approved before we go on recess that is Wednesday, so if you have prepared your case, you must definitely then come for it to be approved before we adjourn, otherwise if we adjourn you will be in trouble for the next season,” he told officials of COCODOD when they paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament.
COCOBOD reportedly needs around US$400million in bridge financing from the central bank to cover its operations for the remainder of the cocoa season after its annual syndicated loan ran out early.
Each September, COCOBOD secures an international syndicated loan to finance licensed buyers who purchase cocoa from smallholders for export.
It raised US$1.8 billion for the 2016/17 season, but new chairman, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said in March the loan had been used up.
The funds, sources say were all not invested in the cocoa sector to improve this year’s yield and the regulatory body still needs to buy more cocoa.
Chairman of COCOBOD, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang indicated that: “most of the issues that have been raised are being handled, but as we said from the beginning, this was just a courtesy call, so we didn’t go into the fine details of what we are doing and all sort of things, including trying to brand globally Ghana’s cocoa.”
He also added that they would avail themselves at Parliament’s committee meeting on Agric and
Cocoa, when the House resumes sitting from after adjournment later in October to brief members on the company’s strategic plan for the ensuing years.