Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to clear the outstanding debt it owes cocoa license buying companies across the country in the coming days, director of public affairs at COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo has said.
Adressing journalist in Accra as part of awareness creation for this year’s chocolate week, Fiifi Boafo said the regulator will access some 190 dollars this week to clear the debt owed farmers and license buying companies.
If anyone tells you that we have not paid farmers or license buying companies since November, that is not true, that is not the case because Cocobod has already drawn down $ 1.1 billion which is about 92 percent of it, plus monies sourced from Bank of Ghana have been used to pay license buying companies,” he said.
He added “We admit there has been some delays and the expectation is that this very week, we will draw down the remaining 190 million dollars which will be used to service the remaining amount of money we are supposed to pay license buying companies”
Increased local production
Meanwhile COCOBOD is seeking to increase local processing of cocoa beans by creating high demand and consumption of cocoa products within the country, starting with the National Chocolate Week from 8th – 14th February 2021.
Speaking at the launch on Asaase Radio’s Chocolate Month Programme on Monday, senior public affairs manager of COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo said National Chocolate Week is expected to spark the interest of Ghanaians to indulge in the mouth-watering products derived from Ghana’s cocoa.
He however, expressed regret that a large percentage of the finished cocoa products on the Ghanaian market are produced outside the country.
According to him, this is because local processing is largely done at the primary level which includes conversion of the cocoa beans into cocoa butter and liqueur rather than finished products.
The director of public affairs of COCOBOD explained that the processing has been at the primary stage for years because local demand for finished cocoa products has been low.
He admitted that great strides have been made over the past four years, adding that policies introduced by the government within the period have led to an increase in local processing from 26% to 40%.