Artisanal manufacturers trained on financial management in cocoa value addition

Some 26 artisanal chocolate makers have been trained in effective financial management strategies, empowering them to access and utilise funds to enhance the value of Ghana’s cocoa beans. 

The trainees, drawn from selected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along the cocoa sector, are beneficiaries of the Cocoa Value-Chain Catalyst (CVC) Programme designed to support SMEs in the sector with business development support and access to finance opportunities. 

In the next ten months, the SMEs in the cocoa and coffee value-chain would also be empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions on accessing financing and driving business growth. 

The initiative is funded by the International Trade Centre (ITC), with support from the Ministry of Finance, and implemented by Innohub. 

The global chocolate market is expected to grow from $138.5 billion in 2020 and reach $200.4 billion by 2028, according to Fior Markets, a leading market intelligence company. 

Meanwhile Ghana rakes in about $2 billion annually in exports of raw cocoa beans, contributing to about 2.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. 

It is the plan of the Government of Ghana to ensure that 50 per cent of cocoa beans are processed locally before export. 

Mr Larry Attipoe, National Coordinator, ITC-Alliances for Action, told the Ghana News Agency that many SMEs are unable to access available financial facilities due to their inability to do thorough bookkeeping of their operations. 

He said the problem of finance faced by SMEs “is not a supply side problem” and added that a proper documentation of the business would make a case that the funds released to the entity would be paid back. 

“There is a lot of money in the country to be lent to SMEs, but they have to do a lot more on themselves to make sure that they are ready for those funds because the funds have their own conditions,” Mr Attipoe said. 

Mr. George Adjei-Bekoe, President of the Ghana Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association, cited the difficulties in directly obtaining cocoa beans from cocoa marketing companies and a lack of funds to acquire beans as two of the most significant challenges confronting local chocolate manufacturers. 

He said with the right support and supply, the artisanal cocoa manufacturers could process between 40 and 49 tonnes of cocoa beans per annum. 

Mr Nelson Amo, the Chief Executive Officer of Innohub, encouraged SMEs in the cocoa sector to explore avenues and take advantage of existing opportunities to scale up their operations and benefit from the global cocoa market. 

“We need to play big. There is so much value we are sitting on, but we are not thinking beyond the immediate matters,” he said. 

Source: GNA 

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