Cocoa Processing Company commissions GH¢10.5m plant

Government has reiterated its commitment to continue pursuing policies that would make the cocoa industry more efficient, despite the discovery of oil in the country.

Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who gave the assurance on Thursday, said even though Ghana has started oil production, government believed that Agriculture, especially the hold on the cocoa sub-sector, would remain key to the rural transformation of the economy.

Mr Kwetey was commissioning a GH¢10.5 million additional plant and equipment, as well as a GH¢1.3 million rehabilitated and refurbished chocolate-making section of the Confectionary Factory at the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) in Tema, on Thursday.

The additional plant and equipment included hydraulic presses, cricket filter and a cake pulverization plant.

Mr Kwetey indicated that cocoa still remained the mainstay of Ghana’s economy, which accounted for 40 percent of Agricultural Export and 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Government, he said, would therefore pursue policies that would make the industry sustainable and profitable, such that current stakeholders could continue to invest in the sector, while new investors were being attracted.

The Deputy Finance Minister said, to arrive at a mutually beneficial arrangement, relating to the pricing of cocoa beans sold to the domestic processing factories, government would continue its on-going dialogue with those factories.

He commended the CPC for undertaking the expansion and rehabilitation project, stating that, with the expansion, government expected the Company to embark on a vigorous campaign for the increased consumption of cocoa and its derivatives.

Dr Richard Amarh Tetteh, Managing Director of the company, said his outfit began the expansion project in 2003, in order to increase its processing capacity from 25,000 to 64,500 metric tones of cocoa per annum.

Dr Tetteh said the expansion was also to help the factory to keep up with the changing trends of chocolate-manufacturing, which he said, was a dynamic enterprise.

Mr Jacob S. Arthur, Chairman of CPC’s Board, said the expansion project was aimed at positioning the Company to respond appropriately to the unpredictable global demand pattern for semi-finished cocoa products with the right mix.

Mr Arthur explained that CPC had to maximize all its product lines in order to attain some level of flexibility in its operations, in order to operate at the technically recommended throughput capacity of about 90 percent, compared to the 25 to 30 percent, it was utilizing.

He further said with the expansion of the Cocoa Factory Two, which was originally set up to process beans into only liquor, it now had the capacity to generate the whole range of semi-finished cocoa products, such as liquor, butter, cake and powder.

The Board Chairman named access to working capital, ensuring constant supply of light crop beans to the Company, and the increasing cost of cocoa beans, as the major challenges threatening to erode the successes of the commissioned projects.

Mr Kwetey was later conducted round the rehabilitated Plant by the MD, the Board Chairman, and other top Management members of the Company.

Source: GNA

1 Comment
  1. Busha T says

    Agriculture Agriculture is very important in current and years to come because of world population out grown growers in thhe world and if Ghana is not smart enough we as a nation will miss this opportunity to feed our nation and export more and more for revenue. Oil is not renewable and once is finish we are in BIG trouble.

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