The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo is hopeful COCOBOD will be able to raise the needed funds to finance the 2019/2020 crop season through a syndicated loan.
According to him, a team from COCOBOD and other relevant state institutions had a successful roadshow last week after engaging twenty-two banks abroad to raise about 1.3 billion dollars.
Speaking to Citi Business News after launching the 2019 Cocoa Consumption Campaign, Mr. Aidoo stated that the team from Ghana is waiting for a response from the banks to determine the coupon rate for the loan.
“We had 22 banks appearing at the roadshow who have shown interest to syndicate. So we are waiting to see how much they are going to offer” he said adding that the level of interest indicates that the investors may oversubscribe.
Touching on the 2019 Cocoa Consumption Campaign, Mr. Boahen Aidoo stated that the company is collaborating with the relevant stakeholders to help increase local consumption of cocoa products in the country.
This, he said, will help the government’s plan of adding value to the product, reducing the volume of export of raw cocoa beans.
He stressed that for more than a century, the cocoa sector has been the backbone of Ghana’s economy bringing in billions of dollars in foreign exchange and providing jobs, directly and indirectly.
“Currently, Africa contributes about 75 percent of global cocoa production but can only account for 3 percent of domestic consumption of cocoa products. Ghana ‘s per capita consumption is estimated to be around 0.52 kilogram while some European countries boast of between 5 kilogram and 8 kilogram”.
Making some recommendations, Mr. Boahen Aidoo pointed out that it is important to reverse the perception that chocolate, a major product of cocoa is a luxury product for the wealthy.
“The overall objective is to facilitate a significant increase in local consumption,” he said.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo added that once local consumption increases, the country will be able to control how much cocoa beans is put on the international market.
The government in 2017 launched the National cocoa consumption campaign to educate Ghanaians on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa consumption and inculcate the habit of cocoa consumption among the populace.
(by Lawrence Segbefia)