Ghana Cocoa Board caught in a web of Debt

Ghana Cocoa Board caught in a web of Debt

Ghana Cocoa Board spokesman Fiifi Boafo

  • Arrears owed to cocoa buying companies amount to $208 million

|Ghana’s cocoa regulator is caught in a web of debt as arrears owed to cocoa buying companies have surmounted to over $208 million.

The Nationwide lockdown has resulted in slowed exports and curtailed sales.

Lockdown restrictions at destination ports have weighed on cocoa shipments from the world’s second-biggest producer in recent months, Ghana Cocoa Board spokesman Fiifi Boafo said by phone on Friday.

The arrears have amounted to about 1.2 billion cedis ($208 million), according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not allowed to speak publicly about the matter.

Boafo declined to comment on the outstanding amount.

Fluctuating prices of cocoa beans in the market, low output in production and adverse weather conditions have crippled operations.

The West African nation has suffered the loss of a potential sale of $1 billion after prices declined from a high in February, the cocoa regulator said in April

The monies were mostly owed to foreign-owned buying companies, he said. Purchasing agents typically secure beans from farmers in the interior for delivery at the regulator’s warehouses at two major ports.

How soon will the arrears be paid?

| Sales have begun to normalize and that should enable the regulator to pay the arrears, said Boafo.

“I’m confident that we will pay all outstanding debts owed to the licensed buying companies in the coming weeks,” he said.