The dispute between cocoa farmers and the LBC’s which we wrote about last week looks like it might get settled soon.
A statement by Food and Agriculture Minister-designate, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, was made when he appeared before Parliaments’ Appointments Committee to explain how the issue with unpaid debts to farmers would be resolved.
Last week, he had claimed the non-payment was untrue, and demanded proof.
The issue was brought to the public’s attention when MP for Buem, Kofi Adams publicly announced earlier this month, that the farmers in his constituency were struggling to pay bills due to the delay in payment.
According to Mr. Adams, in his constituency, cocoa farmers were owed over GHS 11 million.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto has now made assurances that the money had been secured and would be received this week would then be passed on to those affected farmers.
By now, before the end of the year, normally we should have had enough contracts for the release of the whole amount GHS1.3 billion, unfortunately, we could not sell that fast. So, now that we have the contracts sold, we are expecting that early this week, the last tranche of GHS190 million will be with us, and then we can pay for all the outstanding monies owed and that issue will be behind us.” Fiifi Boafo – COCOBOD
He also mentioned that in the meantime, the Bank of Ghana was helping to provide facilities to assist the LBCs to settle the debts in advance of the monies being forthcoming.
The assuring part is that the GHS1.3 billion COCOBOD contracted to pay cocoa farmers we have done a drawdown of about GHS1.1 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. Fiifi Boafo, COCOBOD