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Business News of Friday, 21 February 2020


AGI, COCOBOD partner to train cocoa product makers


The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is collaborating with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) – the research arm of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) – to train Ghanaian business entrepreneurs, mostly startups, in the manufacturing of cocoa products.

The cocoa products include chocolate, cocoa butter as well as harnessing the potentials in the pod husks industry since CRIG research indicates that the pod can commercially be processed to produce a variety of value-added products that are capable of earning the country some direly needed foreign exchange inflows.

The training is expected to enable the business community take optimal advantage of opportunities in the cocoa sector created by the operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area set for July this year with chocolate products set to be the major driver.

The global chocolate market is estimated to be worth around US$110 billion and is projected to surpass US$161.56 billion in revenues generated by 2024, gas the industry is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 7.0 percent in terms of volume.

Africa produces about 75 percent of the total global cocoa production, yet it has only five percent of the entire chocolate market whereas Switzerland and Belgium – the world’s top two producers of chocolate – reportedly earn around US$14 billion and US$12 billion respectively from export of chocolate annually.

Owing to the increasing demand and preference for cocoa products, coupled with the vast potential benefits the market offers, stakeholders have indicated that there is the need to institute effective mechanisms to enable the business community take full advantage.

In the processing of cocoa beans for the market, the pod husk, bean pulp juice and the placenta, which constitute 66 percent, 4 percent and 10 percent respectively of the fruit are traditionally discarded as waste. Research carried out at CRIG have demonstrated that the wastes could be processed into commercially useful products such as animal feed, wine, vinegar and jam among other products.

Ghana’s chocolate sold to the global market in 2018 stood at US$32.1 million. This is a huge increase on the revenues gotten from the product in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at US$33,320, US$1,435,613 and US$16,806,703 respectively.