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01.10.2008 Business & Finance

Ghana to process 380,000 tonnes of cocoa

Ghana is set to process about 380,000 tonnes of its total cocoa production by the middle of next year, President John Agyekum Kufuor has announced.
This represents more than 50 per cent of the current production level of 700,000 tonnes.
Addressing Cocoa Producers Alliance (COPAL) Cocoa Day at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region, President Kufuor said the Government's policy within the last eight years has been to attract investments to at least process 40 per cent of the country's cocoa.
The result has been the establishment of a 60,000 tonne-capacity processing plant by Cargill in Tema. It is now test-running the plant, which is scheduled for formal inauguration in November. It would produce cocoa liquor, butter and powder.
Another global giant, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), President Kufuor said, has also expressed interest in establishing a plant in Kumasi.

Barry Callebaut, partly state-owned Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) and German-controlled West African Mills (Wamco) are among companies currently operating in Ghana.
President Kufuor urged the Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD) to intensify the Cocoa Diseases and the Pests Control and the application of fertilizer programmes.
Additionally, the Board should step up the supply of early bearing and high-yielding planting materials for the rehabilitation of old farms and the payment of remunerative producer prices.
These were necessary to help the nation to achieve the medium term objective of producing one million tonnes of cocoa annually.
Mr Isaac Osei, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, said the way forward for the industry must involve broadening of its marketing strategies to increase the sale of processed cocoa products in Ghana and the ECOWAS Sub-Region.
COPAL member countries produces 76 per cent of World Cocoa Output, but their grindings add up to only 28 per cent while their domestic consumption is a meagre five per cent of the output.
He said there was the need to channel efforts towards increased processing and local consumption to derive maximum benefits.
Nana Yiadom Boakye, National Chief Farmer, praised the Government for keeping faith with Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers.
Since 2001, cocoa production has moved up from an average of 350,000 tonnes to the current nearly 700,000 tonnes.
In the same period producer price had gone up by over 400 per cent from 347.50 Ghana cedis to 1,632.00 Ghana cedis per tonne