Ghana has hinted of an impending deal with China to establish a 50,000-tonne capacity cocoa processing plant at the cocoa producing enclave of Western North Region.
The partnership project said to cost 100 million dollars will produce chocolates and other value-added cocoa products for export.
Government has announced a joint partnership deal with the Chinese to construct a 100 million dollar chocolate factory at Sefwi-Wiaso in the Western North region.
Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, disclosed the Ghana – China Cocoa Processing arrangement at a forum on the Cocoa Supply Chain in Accra, adding the country will soon host the signing ceremony.
He explained, “we have agreed with the Chinese who are ready to bring 60 million dollars while Ghana looks for some Ghanaian investors who will bring 40 million dollars.”
Sefwi Wiawso, capital of the Western North region, was been chosen to benefit from this Ghana-China cocoa partnership deal.
The area is a major cocoa growing hub in Ghana, responsible for the largest chunk of Ghana’s annual cocoa produce, which brings in the much needed foreign exchange.
Scores of youth in the locality area expected to benefit from direct jobs from the project, earning wages and contributing to improved livelihoods.
The investment into this cocoa processing venture forms part of the Government of Ghana’s policy to achieve 50 percent local processing of total beans produced annually.
It is planned to contribute to adding more value to the produce for higher return from the export market, a crucial shift away from selling raw beans which earns so little.
Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa beans in the world, but its current processing capacity is said to be less than 15 percent.
The local cocoa products consumption rate of 0.54kg per capita is among the lowest in the world, compared to 8kg per capita in cocoa importing countries.