GHANA – The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has entered into a public private partnership with the China Development Fund and Genertec International Corporation to establish a cocoa processing plant at Sefwi Wiawso, Western region Ghana estimated to cost US$100m.

The main financier of the project is the China Development Fund and construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2020.

Once completed it is expected to process about 40,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans for export to the Chinese market.

It will benefit cocoa farmers, open rural economy for the community and strengthen the cocoa supply chain by increasing productivity and value addition of the product to be competitive in the emerging world market.

According to Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD the country is hoping to expand its production from the current 850,000 metric tons to 1.5 million metric tons annually in the long term which will be made possible through this partnership.

In addition to that, waste from cocoa beans that accounts for 20 per cent of the total volume will be converted into organic substance for domestic use.

Endorsing the partnership, Mr Aidoo said the project is a Sino-Africa model, the first of its kind in the Africa region and was excited to witness the signing ceremony as way of exploring business opportunities for the two countries.

Mr Zhou Qingyu, the Vice President of China Development Fund welcomed the collaboration and said both countries have enjoyed long-lasting relations, hoping to continue with the friendship for the benefit of all especially the cocoa farmers.

He pledged their unflinching support to work with government to ensure that the necessary documentation starts as early as possible for the project to begin as expected.

Mr Zhou Mingchun, the Vice President of Genertec International Corporation said Ghana was regarded as the regional hub in trade facilitation, hence, the need for China to set up businesses in the country.

He was optimistic that the project would be successful and sustainable to revitalize the cocoa industry reported Ghanaweb

Genertec is a Chinese state-owned conglomerate spanning the areas of machinery manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, engineering contracting, construction, real estate and technical consulting.