Tue, 12 Aug 2008 Business & Finance

New cocoa processing factory for Kumasi …operation starts next year

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

A NEW cocoa processing plant, which would give value to the country's raw cocoa beans, is being established in Kumasi.

The construction of the processing plant, situated at Kaase, an Industrial area in the metropolis, is expected to be operational in March next year. When completed, the processing plant would produce fresh non-alcoholic cocoa liquor used for the manufacture of chocolate and other cocoa products for the consumption of both local and foreign markets.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Cocoa B.V, a leading U.S. cocoa processing company with branches across the world, which is embarking on the project, is also reported to be the biggest buyer of Ghana 's cocoa produce at the world market. The company, which has over 240 processing plants across the globe with 27,000 employers, also deals in the conversion of corn, oil seeds and wheat into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy use.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony of a new communal sanitation building to the Kaase community as part of its corporate social responsibility, the General Manager of the Company, Mr. Jack Sinclair, noted that the company adopts strict and high environmental standards particularly to people within communities where it operates, hence its decision to establish the facility to the people of Kaase community.

He stated that when the company began the construction of the factory at the beginning of the year, it noticed that the people who lived on the edges of the factory site lacked basic hygienic facilities hence the need to, after talks with elders of the community, cede part of the company's land for the construction of the new facility which consists of separate toilets and showers.

Mr. Sinclair commended the chiefs and people of the Kaase community for the warm reception accorded the management and staff of the company since the commencement of the construction of the project.

He further expressed gratitude to the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr. Isaac Osei and the chairman of the NPP branch in Cote D'lvoire, Nana Boakye, whom he said, were very instrumental in the establishment of the company in the country.

Mr. Sinclair disclosed that the previous site used by the village as place of convenience would be landscaped and planted with local vegetation including planting of coca trees.

The Deputy General Manager of ADM, Pieter Frieling stressed that the construction of the facility exemplified the company's support of the economic and social development of the communities in which it operates as vital, and was an integral part of its commitment to make the world a better place.

The CEO of COCOBOD, Mr. Isaac Osei, on his part noted that the establishment of the cocoa processing plant would help increase the economic benefit that the country derives from the product.

He stated that the production of cocoa in the country had improved significantly from 300,000 tonnes per year in 2000, to 700,000 tonnes as a result of numerous incentives introduced by the government of the NPP to cocoa farmers adding that the produce was expected to reach million tonnes within the next two years.

Mr. Osei noted that with prudent economic measures and major transformations introduced into the cocoa industry by the NPP government, the estimated target of million tonnes by the year 2011 would be achievable.

He, therefore, charged the company to consider the local youth who will qualify for jobs during its recruitment exercise.

The Chief Executive Officer of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, in a speech read on her behalf commended ADM Company for the laudable project, stressing that the construction of the sanitary facility had come at a time that the assembly was grappling with issue of waste management in the city as a result of meagre budgetary allocation.