Ghana’s cocoa farmers are expressing dissatisfaction with their financial situation, attributing their plight to the Cocoa Board (Cocobod), the entity mandated by law for their produce transactions. Farmers argue that Cocobod, responsible for purchasing their cocoa, has treated them unfairly, with Anane Boateng, the president of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association, asserting that despite farmers’ efforts and financial investments, Cocobod struggles to turn a profit.
Concerns have arisen that some farmers may resort to smuggling their remaining cocoa beans into neighboring Ivory Coast for sale. As the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, Ghana relies significantly on the cocoa industry, which constitutes about 15% of the country’s exports. Cocobod has reportedly incurred financial losses for the past six years, according to MP Eric Opoku, a member of the parliamentary committee overseeing the board.
In an effort to address the financial challenges, Cocobod is reportedly seeking a loan to finance the 2023/24 crop. However, parliamentary approval is required, and complications arise from Cocobod’s failure to account for the money borrowed in 2020. The board has resorted to borrowing funds from cocoa traders to fulfill its procurement needs, as reported by Reuters.
In response to the concerns, Cocobod released a statement assuring stakeholders that necessary arrangements have been made to secure adequate funding for cocoa purchases in the current year.