GHANA – Cocoa sector operations in the 2023/24 crop season are expected to go ahead smoothly following the approval of a US$800 million loan facility by Ghana’s parliament to finance the purchase of cocoa. 

The receivables-backed trade finance facility is between COCOBOD and a Consortium of banks and financial institutions, with the government of Ghana acting as the guarantor. 

Funds from the loan will be used to purchase about 47 per cent of projected 850,000 tonnes of cocoa beans expected during the season. 

Ghanaian lawmakers also approved a request for a US$4 million waiver that was deemed necessary to enable COCOBOD utilise the full amount of the facility for cocoa purchases and related activities. 

The facility loan was issued in accordance with the Article 181 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana and will be drawn in two instalments between November 2023 and February 2024. 

During the proceedings, COCOBOD was reported to be back on track and that it was a profitable organisation, despite financing challenges it has had over the past. 

Cameroon cocoa prices hit new highs 

Meanwhile, the price ceiling for cocoa beans in Cameroon has peaked at CFA2,000, the 7th increases in three months. 

The continuous increase in cocoa prices in Cameroon signals a promising 2023-2024 season for producer earnings. 

 However, it also highlights a competition between exporters and local processors for beans control, as the available quantities struggle to meet the demands of all industry participants. 

Nigeria cocoa production to drop 

Elsewhere in Nigeria, cocoa production is expected at 296,000 tonnes during the 2023/2024 campaign according to a report by AFEX Commodities Exchange. 

The announced volume reflects a drop of 4.4%, or 13,600 tonnes less than the stock previously harvested attributed to low productivity of the aged cocoa trees. 

“Very few people plant new cocoa trees. The dynamic must shift from small-scale agriculture to large-scale commercial agriculture, and to do this, long-term investments are necessary,” emphasizes Akinyinka Akintunde, CEO of AFEX.