The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawamia, says government has stepped up efforts to support local entrepreneurs and businesses that have interest and expertise in cocoa value addition.
Speaking at the launch of the National Chocolate Week in Accra, a celebration marked under the auspices of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Ghana Tourism Authority and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, he said Ghana has an ambitious target of raising local consumption of cocoa and cocoa products, and increasing processing of cocoa.
“There are various efforts to ease the setting up of cocoa processing companies, to ease the operations of cocoa processing companies and to stimulate the consumption of cocoa,” he said.
“We have moved from 25 percent to about 40 percent of our beans being produced locally, and the target is to hit 50 percent in the shortest possible time,” he added.
He further disclosed that government is working with financial institutions to ensure that the processing companies “get their required volume of beans to deliver the value-added product that they require.”
He challenged Cocobod to increase cocoa consumption per capita in a bid to promote cocoa and boost the economy. Ghana’s cocoa consumption per capita, which used to be 0.5kg, has inched up to 0.53kg.
On his part, the CEO of Cocobod, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said plans are underway to incentivise local processors to produce “innovative chocolates”.
“The board is poised to strengthen its local incentive packages to encourage local processors and artisanal chocolate makers. The incentives will ensure that the processors are able to access more beans and produce innovative chocolates.”
He said the country is aiming to boost per capita cocoa consumption to around 6 or 8kg, as is the case in some European countries.