IVORY COAST – Ivory Coast is set to witness the establishment of a US$10.5 million cocoa processing plant in Duékoué, as part of a joint effort by the Nyienfe Agricultural Cooperative Society of Duékoué (SCOOPRANYD) and Italian partners. 

The venture represents a substantial stride in Ivory Coast’s drive towards industrializing its cocoa sector, promising positive developments for the country’s cocoa industry.

Solange Amichia, the General Director of CEPICI, disclosed that the project entails the construction of a factory in Duékoué, located in the western part of the country.

This factory will have a crushing capacity of 20,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per year and produce approximately 6,000 tonnes of cocoa products.

This investment project represents a fresh contribution from the private sector to the cocoa sector’s industrialization program, which aims to achieve 100% primary processing of the country’s annual cocoa harvest by 2030.

Ivory Coast’s annual cocoa production stands at around 2 million tonnes.

Cocoa is the primary contributor to export earnings in Ivory Coast’s agricultural sector, and while a significant portion is still exported as raw beans, there’s a growing trend of investments in cocoa processing within the country.

In 2022, exports of cocoa and cocoa-derived products generated nearly US$5 billion in revenue for Ivory Coast, according to data from the Trademap platform.

The government has set a goal of processing at least 50% of the cocoa locally, and it anticipates reaching 49% of cocoa processing starting from October 2023 with the addition of several new plants.

Earlier this year, the government signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates for the construction of a new plant in San Pedro with a grinding capacity of 120,000 tonnes.

“This permanent representation (in Abu Dhabi) is the fruit of our new vision for Ivorian cocoa that we want to export all over the world. This office will allow us to explore markets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa,” Yves Brahima Kone, director general of the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said.

Additionally, two new factories financed by China were expected to start production in October, each with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes.

These new plants aimed to enable the country to process over 1 million tonnes of cocoa annually, securing its position as the world’s leading cocoa grinder, potentially surpassing the Netherlands.

The Ivorian government also actively implemented policies to make local cocoa processing more appealing by offering tax incentives and other incentives to Ivorian companies.