COCOBOD has initiated moves to drastically reduce the exportation of Ghana’s cocoa beans to the international market in its raw state.
According to COCOBOD, plans are far advanced to locally process minimum of 50% of the country’s cocoa beans by 2022.
Acting Executive Director of Seed Production Unit at COCOBOD, Rev. Dr Emmanuel Ahia Clottey, disclosed this at a meeting between Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) and officials of COCOBOD in Accra.
The cash crop is the leading agricultural export and generates about 2 billion dollars in foreign exchange annually.
But research shows the country can generate 20 billion dollars in foreign exchange annually from cocoa if locally processed.
Several calls have been made by stakeholders in the cocoa sector, like GARDJA, for COCOBOD to add value to the cocoa beans.
Reverend Dr Clottey said decision to locally process cocoa beans will not only increase the country’s revenue but also improve livelihoods.
“If we are able to process more of our beans locally, the chance that we will get competitive pricing for our beans would appreciate at the world market, and this will affect the pockets of our cocoa farmers in the long run”, he noted.
COCOBOD is inviting prospective investors interested in processing cocoa beans locally to take advantage of the move.
The meeting gave GARDJA the opportunity to present its findings on challenges facing the cocoa sector and proffer some solutions.
Ghana is currently processing only 20% of its cocoa beans and exporting 80% of the raw beans to the international market.
By Ibrahim Abubakar | 3news.com