COCOBOD secures US$1.3bn syndicated loan for 2020/21 cocoa season
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed and secured a pre-export trade finance facility of US$ 1.3 billion under its annual cocoa syndication for the purchase of 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa for the 2020/21 crop season.
The signing of the facility comes days after President Akufo-Addo increased Ghana’s cocoa producer price by 28 percent in farm-gate cocoa prices – GHc 660 per bag of cocoa beans – for the 2020/2021 crop season which begins on October 1, 2021.
Speaking at the virtual signing of the facility, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo said, the loan is being secured through a consortium of financial institutions – a total of 28 made up of 4 local and 24 international financial institutions – at a competitive interest rate plus libor of 1.75 percent.
The Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers include ABN Amro Bank NIV; Bank of China Limited London Branch; Cooperative Rabobank UA; DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Zenossenscha FTS Bank, Frankfurt Am Main; Ghana International Bank Plc; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, London Branch; MUFG Bank Limited; Natixis; Societe Generale; Standard Charted Bank.
The four participating local banks are Ecobank Ghana limited, Societe General Ghana Limited, Absa Ghana Limited and Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited.
The CEO highlighted the continuous trust of the financial institutions in the operations of Ghana’s cocoa industry which has culminated in their ever willingness to pull resources together for our annual syndications.
“We have returned the trust by ensuring that we never defaulted in repaying the loans since the 1992/1993 crop season when the first one was signed. In fact, on several occasions, the loan was repaid ahead of schedule. The 2019/2020 syndicated loan for instance was re-paid two months ahead of schedule,” he said.
In an effort to ensure improved incomes and better livelihoods for our farmers, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire introduced the Living Income Differential (LID) pricing mechanism which has resulted in the addition of US$ 400 to the price of every tonne of cocoa sold by the two countries.
In addition to the remunerative producer prices, Mr. Aidoo indicated that COCOBOD will successfully implement the productivity enhancement programmes and other interventions such as the national cocoa rehabilitation programme, hand pollination programme, mass pruning exercise, mass spraying exercise, free seedlings distribution, subsidized fertilizer distribution and the cocoa roads improvement initiative, to ensure a sustainable cocoa economy and improved socio-economic livelihood for our cherished farmers.