THE Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Development Fund and Genertec International Corporation for the development of a cocoa processing factory. The project, earmarked to start in early 2020, is estimated to cost $100 million and aims to increase the country’s total capacity of cocoa production.
The factory will be located in Sefwi Wiawso, 398 km north-west of the capital, one of Ghana’s major cocoa producing areas.
The cocoa processing factory
According to Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the policy objective of the Ghanaian government to ensure that not less than 50 percent of cocoa beans were added value locally. ‘Ghana is hoping to expand its cocoa production from 850,000 metric tons to 1.5 million in the medium term. The government’s objective is to ensure that waste from cocoa beans that accounted for 20 percent of the total volume was converted into organic substance for domestic use,’ he added.
Aidoo added that the project will be a Sino-Africa model, the first of its kind in Africa, hence the need to welcome the collaboration for sustained mutual benefits. Zhou Qingyu, the Vice President of China Development Fund, welcomed the collaboration and said both countries have enjoyed long-lasting relations, and he is hoping to continue with the friendship for the benefit of all especially the cocoa farmers. Ghana is the second larger producer of cocoa beans in the world. It is believed to be the number one producer of premium cocoa globally.
When completed, the factory will process 40,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans every year for export, mainly to the Chinese market. The new plant will further support the vision of the current government to transform Ghana into an industrialised nation.