COCOBOD CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO FOCUS ON COCOA PROCESSING
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, is calling on government to prioritise the exportation of value added cocoa products.
According to him, the country has the potential to process more cocoa beans into finish products, however the processing facilities are underutilised.
Speaking at the 2021 Ghana Cocoa Awards, Mr. Aidoo said the country needs to focus on value addition to fully benefit from the $130-billion global cocoa value chain.
“After producing over one million tonnes of cocoa, people may enquire if Ghana has the capacity to process at least half of its production. The answer is a resounding yes. The current national installed cocoa processing capacity is around 544,000 tonnes, indicating underutilisation of some factories.”
“This double victory of achieving both domestic record cocoa production and processing highlights the strategic focus of government and COCOBOD towards ensuring that Ghana reduces the export of raw cocoa beans and focus on the export of value added cocoa products that could make Ghana a beneficiary of the estimated 130-billion-dollar global cocoa value chain,” he said.
Cocoa is the chief agricultural export of Ghana and the country’s main cash crop.
Importantly, the country is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world, after Ivory Coast.
In 2020/2021, the country was estimated to have produced over a million tonne of cocoa beans. However, Ghana’s processing capacity is about 544,000 tonnes.
Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, charged the management of COCOBOD to expand the cocoa sector and work on increasing consumption of cocoa products locally and internationally.
“Having come this far in farmer’s welfare, protection and cocoa production among others, the government should turn its attention to local processing, value addition and consumption. Government has already demonstrated that it can achieve what it sets out to achieve within the cocoa industry.”
“It is therefore throwing a challenge to the management of COCOBOD to take the industry to the next level by expanding cocoa processing sub-sector and increasing consumption both locally and in the sub-region,” she said.
The Ghana Cocoa Awards 2021 was themed “Celebrating Ghana’s Historic Cocoa Production Milestone – A Golden Opportunity for the Local Value Addition Agenda.” Chief Executive of COCOBOD won the Lifetime Achievement award, while Agricultural Development Bank won the best cocoa financing institution.