Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo has revealed that Ghana may risk indebtedness as Cocobod struggles to pay back loans to the tune of $1.3 billion.
The reason, according to him is that this season's harvest will likely yield little than was anticipated.
He said that even though the recent rains may improve yields in the smaller June-September harvest, they may not be enough to make up for the losses suffered in the main harvest.
"Ghana will probably not meet its target of 850,000 metric tons due to dry weather and plant disease. We are only praying that we’ll be able to meet our collateralized facility because the crop wasn’t as good as anticipated. We just started paying the first instalment in February", Mr Aidoo said in an interview.
Ghana signed for Cocoa loans with lenders such as Credit Agricole SA and Natixis SA to pay farmers for their beans before the annual harvest in October last year.
Besides Ghana struggling with the repayment of the cocoa loan, it is currently selling cocoa beans at a loss after its prices for farmers were lowered. Ghana Cocoa Board stated in February that it loses an equivalent of about $600 for every ton sold.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo further revealed that Cocobod is still engaging government on ways to pay for operational expenses as the cost of debt on the local market is too expensive.
"Next harvest, Cocobod will target a harvest of 900,000 tons and also seek to raise another $1.3 billion in syndicated loans" he stated.