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COCOBOD USES DEBT TO PAY FARMERS AFTER BUMPER HARVEST

Ghana’s regulator tightly controls the purchase and sales of the countries cocoa. In part, this is due to the countries reliance on US dollar debt at cheap rates secured on contracts with large chocolate companies.

That money works to not only fund a large part of the countries foreign currency reserves but also to pay the farmers. Ghana’s highest cocoa production in a decade has required increased borrowing to fund those purchases. The world’s second-largest cocoa producer had purchased 965,493 metric tons of cocoa as of June 3, 2021. 

So far, production has exceeded a target of 900,000 metric tonnes for the crop year 2020/21, which ends in September and is set to break through one million tonnes.

Cocoa farmers, not for the first time, in some parts of the country have complained about not being paid for their crop, while purchasing clerks have been upset by hundreds of tonnes of unpurchased beans piling up in warehouses. 

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) auctioned a record GH11.7 billion ($2 billion) in six-month cocoa bills between January and May 2021 to finance cocoa purchases, according to Bloomberg. 

Normally, the cocoa regulator obtains money from overseas in the form of syndicated loans to cover the purchase of cocoa beans.

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