Ghana’s Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is set to receive a US$600 million loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the bank’s president, Akinwuni Adesina, has revealed.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the recently concluded Africa Investment Forum (AIF) in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Adesina intimated that the bank is strategizing to assist Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s two largest producers of cocoa to gain more control over global prices of the commodity.
Mr. Adesina expressed regrets that, “if you have to constantly sell your beans, you don’t control anything. You just dispose of them. You’re essentially a market price taker.”
According to Mr. Adesina, “the last time the price of cocoa collapsed, Ghana lost $1 billion. Ivory Coast lost over $1 billion.” He said this is not good enough and that is why the bank is determined to assist the two countries overcome their production and storage challenges.
Cocoa is Ghana’s leading cash crop. It generates about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually and employs approximately 800,000 farm families across the country. COCOBOD is expected to use the loan facility to build warehouses where it can store its cocoa beans and protect itself against global price falls.