GHANA – The Government of Ghana has announced a joint partnership deal with China for the construction of a US$100 million chocolate factory at Sefwi-Wiaso, North Western region.

The facility will have an annual capacity of processing about 50,000 tonnes of cocoa beans into chocolate, aimed at helping the country add value to its cocoa beans before export.

According to Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the agreement will soon be signed in Ghana in which Ghana will contribute 40% of the invetsment capital while China will inject the remaining proportion.

“We have agreed with the Chinese who are ready to bring 60 million dollars while Ghana looks for some Ghanaian investors who will to bring 40 million dollars,” he said.

Speaking at a programme organized by Ecobank Ghana on the Cocoa Supply Chain, Dr. Afriyie Akoto explained that the North western region is known to be major cocoa growing area.

He maintained that the move, apart from creating jobs will also provide an opportunity for the people in the area to be part of the value addition in cocoa production.

According to a GhanaWeb report, less than 15 percent of cocoa beans produced in Ghana are processed within the country – despite Ghana being among the leading cocoa producers in the world.

This has also negatively impacted the consumption of locally made Chocolate in the country.

In addition, the consumption of locally made chocolate remains low compared to the international market.

According to the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Ghanaians consume only 400 grams of chocolate daily compared other developed countries that consume thrice the number.

Ghana’s major producer of Chocolate, the Cocoa Processing Company produces 2000 metric tons of chocolate annually.

The global chocolate market is estimated to be worth US$103.28 billion and has been projected to reach approximately US$161.56 billion by 2024.

However, cocoa producers benefit with only about 6% of the revenues, equivalent to US$6 billion, majorly from production and exportation of cocoa.

Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer with an estimated average production of  900 000 tonnes of cocoa annually below Ivory Coast- the largest producer of cocoa with an annual production of 2,034,000 tonnes.