Ghana’s cocoa revenue will experience a shortfall of US$1 billion as the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a decline in cocoa price on the world market.
The outbreak, the Ghana COCOBOD says, has also stalled the current syndication process for loan facilities for the 2020/2021 crop season.
CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo said the fall in cocoa prices has so far cost the country US$1 billion.
“The buyers have closed their windows so we are not buying. The price of Cocoa has tumbled. Immediately it brings to Ghana a deficit of almost US$1 billion. If this thing should continue, paying our farmers will be difficult,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo disclosed to JoyBusiness.
He further indicated that his outfit is unable to syndicate the right loan for the 2020/2021 crop season.
“We arranged everything until August so we signed in September. This time around, most banks out there have closed. It’s really affecting the industry and you know; cocoa is the backbone of the economy and once cocoa is affected, it means that the entire economy is going to suffer”.
COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production.
These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.
Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about US$2 billion in foreign exchange annually – considering the ravaging effects of the Coronavirus on economies, COCOBOD fears the future of small-holder cocoa farmers could be bleak.