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PBC Boils over Foreign Invasion of Cocoa Purchase Business  

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WORKERS of Produce Buying Company (PBC), the state’s own cocoa buying company are set to hit the streets to demonstrate against possible retrenchment following massive decline in their operations, Whatsup News has gathered.

The workers are reportedly convinced that the gradual takeover of PBC’s market share by foreign cocoa purchasing companies threaten their job security. The foreign Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) have used controversial trade practices to overwhelm local LBCs including PBCs Whatsup News can confirm.

Foreign firms are said to be buying cheaper cocoa beans and paying more to farmers (about GHC 495 per ton), while PBC and other local buyers are focused on Premium cocoa beans and are paying farmers approximately GHC 470 per ton.

Recent data from the COCOBOD indicates that PBC’s market share in cocoa beans purchasing from farmers has dropped massively from over 25 percent in 2015 to less than 16 percent in 2018 as it loses out to foreign companies like Amajaro, Olam. Nyonkopa. UNICOM, among others. These foreign companies have systematically taken over the business from local.

The local regulator of the cocoa sector, the Ghana Cocoa Board is said to have looked on unconcerned as foreign companies unleash their onslaught on local operators.

COCOBOD was recently fingered for compounding the problems of local operators by not releasing funds to them for purchasing cocoa from farmers.

According an investigative report by a local Policy advocacy group called Centre for Socioeconomic Studies (CSS), the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) local and LBCs take cocoa from farmers without paying them.

While COCO BOD refuses to pay cocoa farmers, foreign LBCs are capitalizing on this by giving farmers juicy deals. This is said to have influenced cocoa farmers from selling their produce to local LBCs in preference for the more fulfilling deals with the foreign companies.

“COCOBOD has either refused, neglected or failed as it is obliged to allocate the local LBCs portions of their annual syndicated loan for the 2018/2019 crop season. Local LBCs are being compelled to source for loans from foreign banks at considerably higher interest.

These developments explain the unusual delays local operators these crop season,” CSS said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Source: Whatsup News


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