COCOBOD engages 22 banks to raise syndicate loan for 2019/20 crop season

The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo says he is hopeful COCOBOD will raise the funds needed to finance the 2019/2020 crop season through a syndicated loan.

Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo

He said that a team from COCOBOD and other relevant state institutions organized a successful roadshow last week. During the roadshow, they engaged 22 banks abroad to raise about $1.3 billion.

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM after launching the 2019 Cocoa Consumption Campaign, Mr Boahen Aidoo said the Ghanaian team is waiting for a response from the banks to determine the coupon rate for the loan.

“We had 22 banks appearing at the roadshow who have shown interest to syndicate. So we are waiting to see how much they are going to offer” he said adding that the level of interest indicates that the investors may oversubscribe.

Touching on the 2019 Cocoa Consumption Campaign, Mr Boahen Aidoo said that COCOBOD is collaborating with the relevant stakeholders to help increase local consumption of cocoa products in the country.

This, he said, will help the government’s plan of adding value to the product, reducing the volume of export of raw cocoa beans.

He stated that for over a century the cocoa sector which has been the backbone of Ghana’s economy has fetched the country billions of dollars in foreign exchange and provided jobs, directly and indirectly.

“Currently, Africa contributes about 75 percent of global cocoa production but can only account for 3 percent of domestic consumption of cocoa products. Ghana ‘s per capita consumption is estimated to be around 0.52 kilogram while some European countries boast of between 5 kilograms and 8 kilograms.”

He recommended that the perception that chocolate, a major product of cocoa is a luxury product for the wealthy must be changed.

“The overall objective is to facilitate a significant increase in local consumption,” he said.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo added that if local consumption increases, the country will be able to control how much cocoa beans is put on the international market.

The government in 2017 launched the National cocoa consumption campaign to educate Ghanaians on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa consumption and inculcate the habit of cocoa consumption among the populace.

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