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September 26, 2011

Ghana cocoa authority receives $2 billion loan for purchases

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has clinched a record loan deal of $2 billion for the purchase of cocoa and other cocoa-related activities.

The signing ceremony took place in London where earlier this year, top officials of COCOBOD met to make presentations to major banks to secure the loan. Over 80 banks, most of them from Europe, played diverse roles to make the deal possible. They include Citi Bank, HSBC Bank, Bank of Tokyo/Mitsubishi, UniCredit Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana International Bank and Societe Generale, among others.

Seventy per cent of the Free On Board (FOB) amount will directly go to farmers in terms of produce prices.

According to the Deputy Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, Mr William Mensah, the remaining 30 per cent will go into the expansion of the cocoa industry.

He explained that there was the need to build and rehabilitate feeder roads in the cocoa growing areas, to allocate money for a farmers' pension scheme and scholarships for wards of cocoa farmers, as well also improve cocoa seeds and introduce improved varieties.

Mr Mensah said part of the 30 per cent would go to the government by way of export duties among others.

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