Ghana’s largest opposition party which doubles as the Minority in Parliament has accused the government of diverting a cocoa syndicated loan to other businesses.

The loan is reported to be the first tranche of the $1.3 billion which is allocated for cocoa farmers in the 2018/19 crop year.

A statement released by the minority indicated that a loan amounting to $650 million has been released and was received by the Bank of Ghana on October 6, this year.

This, they claim, has been diverted into areas that will not directly benefit farmers and serve the purpose for which it was taken.

A ranking member on the Finance Committee and a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, who signed the statement revealed that, although the loan was contracted to ensure that Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) have adequate funds to promptly pay cocoa farmers, COCOBOD (the country’s controlled institution that fixes the buying price for cocoa) had not released the monies to the LBCs, hence resulting in delayed payments to cocoa farmers.

The Minority has projected that the loan may be sitting in secured investments in a couple of banks, earning interest whilst the ordinary cocoa farmer is suffering.

It further noted that the move is “a grievous misapplication of the funds and it constitutes an unacceptable breach of financial regulations.”

They (the minority in parliament) in accordance have demanded the minister in charge of the agriculture sector to take responsibility and immediately end the menace.