According to Bloomberg, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is having a hard time paying the debt owed to purchasing agents after the Covid-19 pandemic slowed exports and sales.

Purchasing agents typically secure beans from farmers and sell it to the regulator. A spokesperson for Ghana Cocoa Board stated that his business had weak gains due to lockdown restrictions at destination ports.

As stated by Bloomberg, sources familiar with the issue said COCOBOD owed purchasing agents about GH ¢1.2 billion ($208 million). Although the spokesperson refused to comment on the outstanding amount, he stated that the money was mostly owed to foreign-owned buying companies.

The cocoa regulator said that Ghana had suffered the loss of a potential sale of $1 billion after prices decreased from a high in February. The losses may be worse due to plant disease and bad weather that has hit the crops. According to the spokesperson, sales have begun to normalize, which should allow the regulator to pay the debt.

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