Cocoa farmers across the country who have not been paid by their Local Buying Companies (LBCs) for their cocoa beans are expected to from today Monday start getting paid.
The Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who disclosed this on Friday said the Bank of Ghana had collaborated with the Ghana Cocoa Board to raise funds to settle the LBCs for onward payment to the affected farmers.
“From Monday, farmers will start getting paid,” Dr Akoto told the 26-member Appointments Committee in Accra.
The assurance follows a concern raised on the floor of Parliament by MP for Buem, Kofi Adams, who in a statement said LBCs in his constituency owe cocoa farmers to the tune of GH¢11 million.
But, Dr Akoto explained that the payment delayed because of a drop in chocolate production across Europe and America occasioned by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, he said Ghana was unable to export enough cocoa to activate the release of the US$190 million, the last tranche of the US$1.3 billion cocoa syndication loan secured from a consortium of banks last year.
“By now before the end of the year, normally we should have had enough contracts for the release of the whole amount $1.3 billion, unfortunately we could not sell that fast.
“So now that we have the contracts sold, we are expecting that coming week early next week the last tranche $190 million will be with us and then we can pay for all the outstanding debts and that issue will be behind us.”