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General News Fri, 30 Nov 2001

CASHPRO risks being blacklisted

CASHPRO, a Licensed Buying Company (LBC) of cocoa risked being blacklisted by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) if it again failed to purchase cocoa next season due to its multi-billion-cedi indebtedness to eight banks over last season's operations.

The company was unable to purchase cocoa this season since it owed over 36 billion cedis worth of undelivered cocoa out of the 93 billion cedis seed fund advanced to it by the COCOBOD for the 2000-2001 main crop season that was guaranteed by the banks.

The Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, Mr Kwame Sarpong gave the hint in an interview with the GNA at New Tafo on Thursday, when he paid a familiarisation tour of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (RIG).

He said an LBC lost its licence if it failed to perform its duties for two consecutive cocoa seasons under the agreement between the LBCs and the COCOBOD.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, earlier in November told Parliament about CASHPRO's liability to the COCOBOD in an answer to a question.

Mr Sarpong said that despite the absence of CASHPRO from the system, the other 16 LBCs purchased 108 metric tonnes of cocoa in October instead of the projected 68 tonnes.

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He said the COCOBOD raised 300 billion cedis for this season's expected 400,000 tonnes of cocoa beans, saying it spent 260 billion cedis for last season's purchase of about 390,000 tonnes.

Addressing a staff durbar earlier, Mr Sarpong called on them to step up productivity to merit any demands for improved conditions of service.

He deplored the deteriorated infrastructure of the Board countrywide and pledged that everything would be done to infuse a maintenance culture in all units to avoid heavy expenditure outlays in the future.

Mr Sarpong pledged to lift the image of the Board to fit its status as one of the leading public institutions and announced that the structure of the Board would be reviewed to enhance efficiency and motivation for hard work.

The Chairman of the Local Union, Mr George Nkansah had complained of lack of promotion resulting in low morale among the lower ranks and appealed for immediate review of the situation.

The Acting Executive Director of the CRIG, Dr Michael R. Appiah, who had earlier conducted Mr Sarpong round some units of the Institute, appealed for increased funding for research activities and the replacement of obsolete equipment.

Source: GNA
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