The management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and PBC Limited, the largest licensed cocoa buying company, is to hold dialogue over the impasse on delayed payments for cocoa beans purchased from farmers.
The dialogue is expected to enable the two parties iron out their differences and to negotiate their way out of the impasse with amicable solutions.
Sources close to the managements of COCOBOD and PBC informed ADR Daily that a series of meetings have begun as part of the dialogue process.
Agitations by cocoa farmers over delays in the payment for their cocoa beans, left COCOBOD) and PBC limited, the only state-owned licensed buying company (LBC), locking horns over the availability of cash.
While COCOBOD maintains that it has advanced enough funds to enable PBC to pay for the purchases from the farmers, PBC claims the money provided remained insufficient.
It has led to accusations and counter accusations, with observers describing the impasse as a threat to efforts by Ghana to secure its target of one million metric tonnes of cocoa this season.
COCOBOD accuses PBC of shirking the payment responsibility, and blaming it for the lack of funding to pay the farmers, when PBC had not been able to fully account for a GHc390million advanced to it for purchases and also failed to raise bank guarantees to secure additional funding.
But PBC accuses COCBOD of showing bad faith. According to the management of PBC, after it had discussed the issues with COCOBOD and explained how it had utilized the initial GHc390million for purchases and the need for it to be reimbursed, COCOBOD issued a statement absorbing itself of blame, and faulted PBC for the non-payment for cocoa beans.
PBC also issued a counter statement, detailing its purchases which it said were in excess of the funds provided by COCOBOD, and accused the Board of delayed reimbursement which has resulted in the non-payment to some farmers.
The impasse was also joined by the Minority in Parliament which queried COCOBOD about the availability of the 1.3billion dollar cocoa syndicated loan secured by the government for the 2018/19 cocoa season, accusing the Board of diverting part of the loan which has resulted in poor funding for purchases.
Must Read : PBC explains delay in payments for cocoa
But the managements of the two organisations are calling for calm to ensure an amicable resolution of the matter for the benefit of cocoa farmers.
The management sources indicated that the two organisations remained committed in working together but their quest to explain themselves to the public generated the impasse.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com