The Nana Akufo-Addo government has announced ambitious measures to increase cocoa production to one million metric tons as it improves the local processing of the beans to 50%.
Currently there are about seven major cocoa processing firms in the country including the Ghana Cocoa Processing Company.
Despite efforts targeted at adding value to Ghana’s cocoa before exporting, the country still exports about 80 percent of its raw cocoa beans, losing a lot of foreign earnings.
Currently government’s aim is to reach 50 percent processing of cocoa beans in the short-term as it reaches for the enviable one million metric ton production. So how is government working differently to increase Ghana’s cocoa production from the 800,000 metric tons to one million as it improves local processing to 50 percent?
Speaking to Citi Business News after a tour of some cocoa processing companies in Tema, the Chairman of the Board of COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman stated that government is keen on achieving the targets.
“The president, Nana Akufo-Addo announced that we want to increase cocoa production to one million metric tons and also increase the processing of the beans to 50 percent. We can do it,” he assured.
Mr. Owusu Agyeman stated that government will work at increasing output in the sector.
“We are going to work at increasing the output. If we are able to do that then we can feed the local processors with the amount of beans they need to reach the 50%,” he said adding that, “the president is passionate about achieving the target”.
A careful observation by some industry watchers has shown that Ghana can achieve the 50 percent processing of local cocoa beans if the right steps are put in place.
The Ghana Cocoa Processing Company which is the foremost cocoa processing company established by Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has seen a growing decline in its output over the years.
The company which has the capacity to produce 64,000 metric tons is said to owe COCOBOD about 90 million dollars due to default in paying for supplied cocoa beans.
In addition, CPC is said to owe some syndicated banks about 20 million dollars. The Acting Managing Director of CPC, Dr. Frank Asante however debunks the notion that company is not being competitive.