US$600 million of the US$1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan has hit the accounts of the Bank of Ghana.
The loan was signed between the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) and some international financial institutions.
The balance will hit the central bank’s account in a few months.
It is for the purchase of some 850,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans from farmers in the upcoming crop season.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian cocoa farmers will be paid GHS 515.00 for a bag of 64kg of cocoa for the 2019/20 main crop cocoa season.
The price, an equivalent of GHS 8,240.00 per tonne is the farm-gate price to be paid by Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to all cocoa farmers with effect from October 2019.
Dr Gyielle Nura, the Minister of State in-charge of Food & Agriculture announced the new producer price at a durbar to climax the 2019 Cocoa Day Celebration at Sunyani in the Bono Region.
Dr Nura said the decision to increase the producer price from GHS 475.00 to GHS 515.00, representing an 8.42% rise, was necessary to help Ghanaian cocoa farmers enjoy the fruits of their labour and their efforts at sustaining the cocoa sector.
According to him, the government increased the price amidst unstable price levels at the world market in fulfilment of its commitment to supporting cocoa farmers to improve upon their living conditions.
He urged cocoa farmers to adopt best practices for increased yields. Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in a brief message lauded cocoa farmers for adopting the numerous Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) rolled out by his outfit over the past 3 years.
Hon. Aidoo encouraged farmers to continue to implement the programs and price-guard initiatives to enable them enjoy the benefits of the new price increase to the fullest.
He said COCOBOD will embark on the construction of model basic schools in remote communities in an effort to curb child labour in cocoa communities and called on farmers to avoid encroaching on forest land and stop the use of harmful weedicides.
There were solidarity messages from the leadership of the Cocoa Coffee Shea Nut Farmers Association (COCOSHE), Women In Cocoa and Chocolate (WINCC) and the Board of Directors of COCOBOD who urged farmers to rally behind COCOBOD in its efforts to increase productivity and sustain the cocoa industry.