File photo Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on Tuesday unveiled the $600-million cocoa syndicated loan facility to revamp the West African country’s cocoa sector.
The COCOBOD loan was pooled by a consortium of development finance institutions namely the African Development Bank (AfDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA).
Other contributing institutions are Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Spa (CDP) of Italy, Credit Suisse AG and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC).
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic’s effects on global travel, some representatives of the consortium had to join the ceremony virtually.
Officials disclosed that an initial $200 million out of the $600-million credit facility has already been disbursed.
COCOBOD Chief Executive, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, assured the public that the loan would be used solely for its intended purpose.
Now, this is how COCOBOD intends spending the $600-million syndicated loan it has successfully procured.
1. Fight Against Swollen Shoot Disease (CSSVD)
COCOBOD made it public at the signing of the syndicated loan November last year, that $140 million of the amount would be voted to fighting CSSVD.
The world number two top producer of cocoa beans has been battling the incidence of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) in its Eastern and Western cocoa regions. Experts have said the disease is partly to blame for dwindling harvests leading to a downward review of crop projections this year.
This, coupled with other reasons, led the board to initiate the cocoa farm rehabilitation projects part of the wider Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) to increase yield per hectare to at least 1,000 kilogrammes.
“For the 2019/20 crop year, we started with some 37,850 hectares of diseased farms in both regions. Large proportions of the affected farms are presently at various stages of rehabilitation. It is only a matter of time before they become productive again,” Mr Boahen Aido reported.Still, under the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs), $40 million would be invested in irrigation services and $68 million on expanding COCOBOD’s hand pollination initiative. 2. Investing COCOBOD Loan In Warehousing Capacity An increment in crop yield from the current 350-400kg per hectare to anywhere near the expected 1,000 kg would certainly create a huge demand for more temporary storage space – warehouses.In keeping with its bigger plan, COCOBOD says it will invest some $50 million of the credit facility in infrastructure building to increase its warehousing capacity across the seven cocoa-growing regions. 3. Meeting The […]