Ghana’s Parliament on Wednesday approved a loan agreement between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of international and local banks for an amount of $1.8 billion for the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2015/ 2016 crop season.
The banks are Barclays Bank Plc, Commerzbank, Aktiengesellschaft, Deutsche Bank AG, Natixis, Standard Bank Group of South Africa and Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Standard Chartered Bank is the arranger of the facility whiles the government of Ghana is the guarantor of the loan.
The loan will enable the company to purchase 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa for the season.
The facility is to enable COCOBOD to raise adequate funds to purchase cocoa beans from farmers through Licensed Buying Companies for the 2015 / 2016 cocoa season.
The sourcing of the facility also provides the nation with the opportunity to demonstrate its good track record on borrowing from the international finance market.
Presenting the report of the Finance Committee of Parliament on the facility, the Chairman of the committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, urged the House to approve the loan.
He said it would enable the company to raise the needed funds to purchase cocoa for the season.
“Further, the approval of the waiver will also allow COCOBOD to use the entire syndicated facility for cocoa purchases and other related uses,” he said.