All arrears owed some License Buying Companies (LBCs) by COCOBOD will be settled in a few weeks. That’s the assurance from Fiifi Boafo, the Public Affairs Manager at the Ghana Cocoa Board.
He said that his outfit will, in a few weeks, secure about $200 million to enable it settle those arrears.
It is on the back of the summoning of the Chief Executive Office of COCOBOD, Joseph Noahen Aidoo, by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, to the House, over concerns raised by the Member of Parliament for Buem, Kofi Adams.
Kofi Adams had made a statement in Parliament on the plight of cocoa farmers in his constituency after observing that the predicament of cocoa farmers was nothing to write home about as LBCs are still indebted to cocoa farmers.
In his constituency alone, over GH¢11 million is owed to the farmers, he disclosed.
Answering a question with regard to that, Fiifi Boafo acknowledged that they owe some LBCs but largely blamed the coronavirus for the situation, coupled with the cocoa value chain around the world.
“We admit that to an extent, the flow of cash to cocoa farmers has not been the very best, but it is a challenge we’ve had which we are dealing with and to a very large extent we have managed the situation. But we admit that there is the need for us to quickly clear some of the debt for the LBCs to be able to settle the cocoa farmers. The challenge to a very large extent has been influenced by the coronavirus.
“Because of coronavirus consumption and trading in terms of pricing has dropped, which has led to trade housing limiting their processing capacity which affects your ability to raise funds and all that. The assuring part is that the $1.3 billion COCOBOD contracted to pay cocoa farmers we have done a drawdown of about $1.1 billion already. The expectation is that in the coming weeks we will be able to draw down the rest to be able to clear some of the debt available,” he said.
He was speaking on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News on Wednesday, February 4, 2021.