By Maxwell Akalaare AdombilaThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
ACCRA, November 7 (Reuters) – Ghana’s Cocobod has obtained a financing of $150 million to $200 million from cocoa traders to support bean purchases during the 2023/24 season. This move was necessitated by a delay in securing a bank loan, as confirmed by the regulator’s public affairs manager on Tuesday.
Annually in September, the industry regulator of the world’s second-largest cocoa producer typically secures an international syndicated loan to finance licensed buyers who acquire cocoa from smallholder farmers for export.
Cocobod had previously outlined plans to borrow $1.2 billion for the current season, with $800 million expected to come from a syndicate of lenders and $400 million from other sources.
However, due to delays in the syndication process, the regulator turned to cocoa traders to bridge the funding gap. Fiifi Boafo of Cocobod explained that the funds borrowed from traders would be repaid with the proceeds from the season’s cocoa harvest. While the specific amount accessed from traders was not disclosed, Boafo mentioned that they engaged with buyers to secure capital for cocoa purchases, ensuring that the necessary funds were available when delivering the beans.
Boafo further noted that the approval processes for the $800 million syndicated loan would commence in parliament this week, following which Cocobod would proceed to collaborate with partner banks for the loan agreements’ finalization and signing.