Gabon aims to multiply cocoa production twelve times by 2025 to reach 3,000 tonnes

Gabon – The Gabonese government plans to return to its 1975 glory as one of the largest African cocoa producers by boosting the national cocoa production twelve times to reach 3,000 tonnes by 2025 from 250 tonnes in 2022.

The government not only wants to increase its earnings from the raw material used in the chocolate industry but also to limit the rural exodus by creating jobs.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, brown gold supports around 3,000 Gabonese farmers.

In the wake of collapsing commodity prices for oil, manganese, and wood (its three main exports), Gabonese bet on the revival of the cocoa-coffee sector to reap more from the most coveted raw materials.

However, the production of cocoa beans in Gabon fell gradually from 5,030 tonnes in 1972 to 63.19 tonnes in 2021 and now stands at 250 tonnes in 2022.

Nevertheless, Market Research projects the retail prices of cocoa from Gabon to reach US$6.48 million, thus increasing at a CAGR of 4.50% per annum for the period 2020-2025. 

The intention to boost cocoa production is part of a measure resulting from the plan to accelerate the national agricultural transformation, which aims to restore Gabon to its full place in the coffee and cocoa industry, a pillar of sustainable economic development.

The government has already made strides to achieve the plan through the launch of the Young Coffee-Cocoa Entrepreneurs project (Jecca) three years ago by the directorate general of Gabon’s stabilization and equalization funds (Castaib).

Jecca has led to the creation of 409 hectares of cocoa trees, but the objective is to plant 1,000 hectares by 2025.

Brou Jérémie KOUADIO , an Agricultural Economist Engineer commented that it will be necessary to set up support programs for the various actors, programs for the provision of inputs, and programs for the traceability of agricultural production since it is now that the country is embarking on the cultivation of cocoa.

At the same time, he added that the country will have to develop the processing sector to begin the process of processing on-site to be able to generate much more added value.

To materialize its efforts, KOUADIO noted that the country must initiate campaigns and strategies to promote increased local consumption to protect Gabon from all this, which is variability and instability of the world cocoa market.

With structural reforms – including privatization- on track, the government is keen to promote further foreign direct investment in the agriculture sector. Gabon has 1 million ha of land available for immediate arable use. “There are also tax breaks;

Sources close to the government point out that there’s a very good tax regime, and there is security in land acquisition, as one can lease land for 25-85 years.

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