Ghana’s Cocoa Board signs key $1.5 billion finance agreement for farmer payment

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has secured a $1.5billion pre-export finance agreement with a consortium of local and international financial institutions, enabling cocoa purchasing for its critical 2021/2022 season.

As the organisation noted, the facility, it was gained a competitive interest rate and comes at a critical moment for the industry – with record yields exceeding one million tonnes for 2021, against a backdrop of fluctuating international markets that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest financial agreement, signed at the headquarters of the Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana Plc in Accra, is especially notable given the fact that the cocoa industry is controlled at state level. It will, according to Cocobod, be primarily used to ensure prompt payment to farmers for their produce at respective buying centres within the country.

Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, gave a virtual address for the key finance agreement. He expressed gratitude to the financial partners for their trust in Ghana’s cocoa industry for which reason they are willing to fund the operations of the industry.

“The support we have received from our financial partners has been very consistent and enormous. Management of COCOBOD sincerely appreciates your unflinching commitment in these difficult times,” he noted.

According to Hon Aidoo, despite the challenges that the cocoa industry faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was able to achieve its target of significantly increasing productivity per hectare, leading to the attainment of a record high production at the end of the 2020/21 crop season.

“I wish to officially inform stakeholders that through our continued implementation of the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs), at the close of the 2020/21 crop year, cocoa beans purchased stood at one million and forty-five thousand five-hundred metric tonnes (1,045,500mt), breaking the 10-year-old record set in the 2010/2011 crop year which was 1,024,526mt,” he stated.

He expressed confidence in a “blissful future” for Ghana’s cocoa industry and invited all stakeholders along the value chain to challenge themselves to achieve greater milestones in the coming season.

The Minister assured the consortium of banks that put together the US$1.5 billion amount that the facility would be fully committed to its intended purpose, which is toSpeaking on behalf of the lenders, Mrs Mansa Nettey, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana Plc, said the financial institutions remain committed to a continuous beneficial relationship with COCOBOD. She said the facility received commitments in excess of US$1.7billion due to COCOBOD’s strong credit profile and market relationships.

A total of 28 institutions, made up of 4 local and 24 international financial institutions participated in this year’s syndication facility. She mentioned the Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers as Standard Charted Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Coöperatieve Rabobank, MUFG Bank Ltd, Natixis, Nedbank Ltd and Ghana international Bank. The four local banks are EcoBank Ghana Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, Société General Ghana Limited and Absa Ghana Limited.


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