Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten says government is looking forward to attracting few more cocoa processing companies to move Ghana from its current 40% cocoa value addition to at least to 50% within the next two years.
Ghana currently processes about 400,000 metric tonnes of cocoa or about 40 per cent of total annual output, but Kyeremanten believes the establishment of few more processing companies can increase the volume.
He said Ghana has been exporting cocoa over 100 years without much value addition, and it is only when her cocoa goes through the full value chain before it can attract the maximum benefits.
The Trade Minister, who was speaking at the newly commissioned Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company Limited (ACPL) in Accra yesterday, said the company will not only help Ghana meet its quest to increase her processed cocoa to 50%, but also create jobs for the youth.
After extensive period of refurbishment and additional investment of about €20 million, Afrotropic now employs about 350 workers.
He urged the management of the company to double its production in order to take advantage of the African market.
The new factory currently has the capacity of processing 15,000 metric tonnes of cocoa annually.
He assured management of the company that government will support them in its effort to export to other destinations.
“We also want to assure the management of this company that we will support you in your efforts to be able to export to other destinations. As you are aware, we have a duty-free access to the US under the AGOA initiative and a duty-free access to the European market,” he stated.
He indicated that Africa will soon become one single market, and was hopeful ACPL takes advantage of that to push its products all over Africa.
Managing Director of ACPL, Marc Nijssen said his company is here to make a strong case towards increasing Ghana’s cocoa processing drive.
He promised the company’s expansion in few years to ensure it creates more jobs for Ghanaians.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, in his brief remarks, appealed to the company to let its corporate social responsibility initiatives affect mostly people in his community, where ACPL operates.
Brief history of ACPL
ACPL is a free zone company that process cocoa, and the history of the company goes back to 1924 with the establishment of J. Monta and Son Limited in Kumasi by Mr Joseph Monta, and that was just the beginning; many business ventures followed after that in many areas.
ACPL was incorporated in 2002, with a factory being constructed in 2006 in Tema, close to the Spintex Coca Cola roundabout.
Between 2012 and 2015, ACPL experienced low productivity and inactivity due to global economic crisis.
In 2016, however, production resumed under a new commercial agreement between ACPL and the Italian company Nutkao that led to a substantial investment programme and to the acquisition of Afrotropic in April 2018 with 100% of the shares purchased by Nutkao Group.
Today, ACPL can boast of 15,000 tonnes cocoa beans, which are processed into cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, deodorized cocoa butter and cocoa cake.
Credit: The Finder
( By John Elliot HAGAN)