The Produce Buying Company (PBC) has assured cocoa farmers across the country that it is working hard to purchase more cocoa beans from.
PBC said it is working on getting guarantees from some financial institutions in order to access more funding from the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) to enable PBC off-take more beans from cocoa farmers and pay them accordingly.
In a statement signed by Kofi Owusu Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PBC, it said PBC is working hard to make this possible.
Below is the full Press Release
PBC Limited (PBC) is aware of the difficulties being encountered in certain cocoa purchasing areas in respect of the trend of payment for cocoa beans to the farmers. PBC has the widest geographical presence and infrastructure and are operating in most remote cocoa growing areas that no other Licensed Buying Company (LBC) operates from.
We have since secured Seed Fund of GH¢390 million from Cocobod and so far received Cocoa Taken-over Receivables (CTORS) of GH¢81 million in the current season. The amount has been used to purchase about 62,000 tonnes of cocoa.
Meanwhile, our purchases report for week 6 to Cocobod shows that PBC has purchased a total of 67,567 tonnes of cocoa, the difference of which is yet to be paid for. We wish to put on record that PBC has actually purchased more cocoa than the Seed Fund given by Cocobod could purchase.
PBC is working closely with our Bankers to secure additional bank guarantees to enable us to access more funding from Cocobod. This would enable PBC pay for all credited stocks from our loyal farmers.
Besides, it is important to state that quick turnaround of seed fund is very crucial in the business. As at today, PBC has submitted CTORs of GHS104 million to Cocobod which remain unpaid. We are liaising with Cocobod to ensure prompt payment of CTORs and once they are paid on time, it should go a long way to address the current issues at hand.
We take this opportunity to assure all our key stakeholders, including our cherished farmers and banks that despite the unfair and unethical competitive practices by some LBCs, PBC is still solidly in business. However, the company and other indigenous LBCs are frantically making arrangements to seek audience with the Regulator to address these matters urgently.
We wish to assure all our loyal farmers and all stakeholders that with the support of Cocobod, all farmers will be paid their money as soon as possible.
KOFI OWUSU BOATENG
(CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER)