ADD VALUE TO OUR COCOA BEANS – YOFI GRANT ADVISES LOCAL PRODUCERS

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has expressed his displeasure at the inability of Ghanaian producers to manufacture cocoa products of international standards.

Addressing industry players at a Cocoa Investors’ Forum, Mr. Grant claimed that he always feels a ‘little cringe’ when he sees cocoa products, which were not produced by Ghanaian producers, making good sales on the foreign market.

“Travelling around the world, sometimes I feel a little cringe when I go into shopping arcades and I see a lot of chocolate, nicely labeled. I said why can’t we get Ghanaian producers actually producing global standard chocolate? I go to shops to buy cosmetics and I know that cocoa butter is an additive. And I say, there is nobody in Ghana producing for the global market,” he lamented.

Mr. Yofi Grant posited that the recent fall in cocoa prices on the international market was a major reason for the need to add value to Ghana’s cocoa beans.

He said, “Recently, changes in the industry have meant that if we produce more than we are producing here, we will see a depression in the price. And that is another motivation why we need to add value to the beans and so although we welcome investors to the industry, we welcome those who will partner with us into industrializing cocoa, adding value to it.”

He believes Ghana would migrate from the lower end to the higher end of the value chain if local businesses and producers are encouraged to process the cocoa beans.

“So how do we turn the trend of just exporting the beans into encouraging indigenous producers and domestic businesses? How can we redirect them into adding value to the cocoa that we produce such that we don’t just export the beans anymore, but we process over here and we go to the global market, we will see the correct labels and we will see that at the end of the day, we are not only at the lower end of the value chain but we will participate also in the higher end of the chain,” he proposed.

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