According to an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD Joseph Boahen Aidoo granted one media house in Accra the abysmal fall in the price of cocoa in the international market has made Ghana lose $1Billion.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic production at farm centres have reduced and the planned loan facilities to be extended to the farmers to enable farmers to invest in their cocoa farming to enhance more productions and yields earmark for 2020/2021 crop season has been brought to a standstill. These syndicated loans were purported to use to increase cocoa plant fertility, improve irrigation systems, rehabilitate aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.
The following were the words of the CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo during the interview;
“The buyers have closed their windows so we are not buying. The price of Cocoa has tumbled. Immediately it brings to Ghana a deficit of almost $1 billion. If this thing should continue, paying our farmers will be difficult”.
“We arranged everything until August so we signed in September. This time around, most banks out there have closed. It’s really affecting the industry and you know; cocoa is the backbone of the economy and once cocoa is affected, it means that the entire economy is going to suffer”.
Cocoa production plays a pivotal role in the success of Ghana’s economy employing over 800,000 Ghanaians directly and indirectly. It also earns foreign exchange of $2billion annually to Ghana. Additionally, cocoa adds to the Gross Domestic Product (Gross Domestic Product) of the economy.
COVID-19 has indeed made economies suffer already. If the COVID-19 containment in Ghana does not improve the cocoa production and yields may further exacerbate.