Ghana’s Parliament to approve US$600m cocoa stimulus loan despite minority’s concerns

Cocoa farmers
  • The Ghanaian government is soliciting for a US$600 million credit facility for the Cocobod cocoa sector stimulus programme.
  • However, the Minority in Parliament have asked the government to provide detailed information on certain aspects of the proposed stimulus programme.
  • The Minister of Information said that the amount is to increase Ghana’s cocoa production to 1.5 million tonnes by 2027, among others.

Ghana’s Parliament is expected to approve the US$600 million credit facility for the Cocobod cocoa sector stimulus programme.

This is despite concerns raised by the Minority in Parliament over some aspects of the facility.

The stimulus package is being financed with a loan facility from the African Development Bank.

Cocobod will use US$68 million of the package for hand pollination of cocoa trees. US$5 million of it will be used for the distribution of chocolate and cocoa products to school pupils as part of the school feeding programme and US$200 million dollars to promote local processing of cocoa, among others.

But the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the government must provide detailed information on certain aspects of the proposed stimulus programme.

“We want to know where the US$200 million will be going to because US$200 million can even set up four processing factories if we are to do a minimum of US$50 million per factory. That will be supporting indigenous Ghanaians in that sector. We have no difficulty with it but when we say US$200 million to support the domestic processing of cocoa, the committee must demand who will get this as support.”

“We need to know because you can set up a factory with US$50 million. We need full details from the government. Who will it go to? For what?” he said.

Reacting to this the Chairman of the Parliament’s Select-Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Kwame Asafo Adjei said the “Government’s intervention is paramount. If we believe cocoa is the backbone of this country’s economy, how do we do it? Should the government sit down and let cocoa production decline as they did in their time? That is why we are going for this loan.”

In Parliament, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, ruled that the Select Committee on Finance Committee has already scrutinized the loan agreement.

About the Stimulus Package

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said that the amount is to increase Ghana’s cocoa production to 1.5 million tonnes by 2027, among others.

“The Akufo-Addo administration acting through COCOBOD will inject a US$600 million stimulus package into the cocoa sector through a Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Program which is ultimately expected to shore up Ghana’s production to 1.5 million metric tonnes by 2027.”

He explained that the stimulus will target rehabilitation of plantations, improvement in storage and domestic processing, increase in local consumption and a production rise within a 7-year period.

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