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Emirati investors show interest in Ghana’s Cocoa

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By Issah Mohammed, GNA

www.ghanareaders.com

Accra, Feb. 22, GNA- Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group to promote Ghana’s Cocoa in the Emirati market.

The agreement, which was signed during the recently held Gulfood 2022 exhibition in Dubai also laid the foundation for investment through cocoa contract farming or chocolate production.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr Yofi Grant, made this known when he delivered a keynote address at the maiden edition of the Chocolatarium-The Business of Chocolate.

He said the three Emirati companies were already in the country to prospect for either the acquisition of old factories or the setting up of new factories for chocolate manufacturing. 

Mr Grant emphasised the need for local investment into value addition of cocoa as a mainstream economic event that would help indigenous chocolate manufacturers improve their capacity to meet high demands of the product.

Mr John Kumah, Deputy Minister of Finance, said the current earnings of around US$2 billion from cocoa production was not enough, hence the decision of government to put in place measures to install processing capacity.

“The current national installed cocoa processing capacity is around 544,000 tonnes indicating under-utilisation of some factories. If you add what our artisanal producers are also doing, then the need for strategic focus becomes clearer,” he said.

Mr Kumah, therefore, indicated that government was ready to partner local cocoa producers to improve their capacity to compete and add value to the commodity under the three and half years Ghana Cares programme.

He said the government had an agenda of increasing local consumption of cocoa by modernising production system through the cocoa productivity enhancement programme, which contributed to the country setting a production record of 1.033 million tonnes of beans for the 2020/2021 season.

“I am confident that interventions, including rehabilitation of cocoa farms, merchanised pruning, fertiliser subsidies, hand spraying, artificial hand pollination, irrigation and distribution of cocoa seeds and continuous farmer education on good agronomic practices will continue to yield results,” he said.

Mr Kumah added that, “any attempt to boost local production cannot be done without the involvement of the hospitality and tourism sector.”

Agnes Gifty Adjei-Sam, Director, Marketing and Promotion, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in a statement on behalf of Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the GEPA CEO, said the processing of cocoa and its derivates remained a priority in the National Export Development strategy.

“We are optimistic that our concerted effort will be of immense benefit to our country and most, especially create opportunity to upscale chances of our youth and women,” she said.

GNA

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