The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has stated that government’s policy in the medium-term is to have 50 percent of Ghana’s produced cocoa processed locally
“Ghana is the second-largest cocoa producer in the world, accounting for 20 percent of the world’s total cocoa production and producing cocoa of the highest premium in the world.
“Ghana is currently producing on average of 850,000 metric tonnes annually, and has become an exporter of primary commodities over the years.
“It is the policy and objective of the current government led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that not less than 50 percent of our cocoa beans is processed locally here in Ghana.
“It is to be so for very good reasons: one being that it will add value to the cocoa beans that are produced here in Ghana; and, most importantly, to ensure that the waste shell of exported cocoa beans – which amounts to 20 percent of the total volume – can be converted into organic fertiliser here in Ghana,” he said.
Mr. Joseph Boahen made this statement at the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the COCOBOD, China Development Bank (CDB), General Technology (Genertec) and China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), to construct a US$100million Cocoa processing factory in Sefwi-Wiawso, in the Western Region of Ghana.
He further indicated that the total installed capacity of processing in Ghana is currently 45,000 metric tonnes, but Ghana is likely to increase its cocoa production from an average of 850,000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes in the medium-term – which requires more installed capacity to meet the target.
The Vice President of CDB, Zhou Qingyu, called the MoU signing ceremony an all spot-on business meeting, as the CDB has confidence in the future of Ghana’s cocoa industry and believes that the project’s implementation will really facilitate Ghana’s plan of building a robust cocoa industry and improving the cocoa product.
“Cocoa is a very strong pillar of the Ghanaian economy and, as indicated by the CEO, government wishes to increase installed processing capacity and utilise the value of cocoa shells; we therefore also believe that with our technical and financial support we can increase the value of the cocoa industry in Ghana.
“We also know that this project will be great news for the cocoa farming communities in Ghana, because it will help to alleviate their poverty – just like we did in China since the reform and opening up of China about 60 years ago,” he said.
The US$100million public private partnership project is to kick-off before the year ends, and is to be constructed by General Technology Construction Company – a Chinese construction firm, with funding to be provided by the China Development Bank through the China Development Cooperation Agency.
Vice President-General Technology Group (Genertec), Zhou Mingchun, indicated that Genertec Construction Company is willing to implement the project which is a core objective of the president of Ghana, and to also contribute in the improvement of cooperation between Ghana and China.
“The cocoa factory project to be established is a new model of China’s aid, and I believe that we can jointly work on it through relationship building to make it a great success.
“As we all know, with the development of economies, people’s requirements and demand for living standards keep increasing as well; therefore, cocoa consumption has a huge potential too. China has an emerging market of 1.4 billion people, which is a huge market and huge potential for Ghana’s cocoa,” he said.
He further indicated that Genertec has been operating here in Ghana, particularly the cocoa sector, over the past 15 years, and during those years gradually enhanced cooperation between the two countries and improved the lives of people both here in Ghana and also in China.