Farmers smuggling cocoa due to delays in new cocoa price

Cocoa formers in the Sefwi Akontomra are angry with government over the delay in announcing the new price of cocoa beans for the 2015/ 2016 crop season.

According to them, the delay has given the cocoa purchasing clerks in the area the opportunity to cheat the cocoa farmers who need money to pay for their children’s school fees.

A chief farmer in the area, Anthony Atta says the delay is also forcing some farmers who cannot wait until 15th October when government is expected to announce the new cocoa price, to smuggle their cocoa beans to Cote d’Ivoire.

Government has gone for a loan of $1.8 billion from consortium of international and local banks 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 while the government of Ghana is the guarantor of the loan.

The loan will enable the company to purchase 900,000 metric tons of cocoa for the season.

Despite this Anthony Atta says farmers cannot wait until October 15th for government to give the green light for the purchasing of cocoa beans for the 2015/ 2016 crop season to commence. 
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