$13 Million Cocoa Processing Plant Expansion Commissioned by Ghana to Match The Nation’s Increasing Demand
By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra- Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo–Addo commissioned $13 million cocoa processing plant expansion of the Cargill Cocoa Processing Company.
At the inaugural ceremony, he highlighted the importance of the expansion in his keynote address.
“I want to congratulate the management and staff for their significant contribution to the success of this company,” he said.
“The commissioning of this expansion today underscores the importance of the private sector to government’s industrial transformation program.”
He further reflected on the impact that Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate has made in the country and a more sustainable cocoa sector and acknowledged that the plant expansion will present an avenue for economic development.
“I’m of the firm conviction that industrialization of private sector development is a great opportunity to expand the economy and create more jobs, particularly for our young people. I also believe that for this country to develop rapidly, there is the need for deliberate attempts to add value to our natural resources.”
“It’s against this background that I would like to commend Cargill for what they are doing in our cocoa sector.” the President said.
The multi–million–dollar investment took sixteen months to complete and increased the plant’s grind capability by 20%, bolstering its annual production capacity to 90,000 tonnes. The initial nameplate capacity of 65,000 tonnes was pushed to 75,000 tonnes through the efficient management by the Ghanaian team, giving room for this expansion. The facility upgrades will also support hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs.
This latest investment is the culmination of Cargill’s 13 years of operational presence in Ghana, during which the direct and indirect employment at the plant grew from 400 to 530.
Cargill’s Harold Poelma explained that the project, which was sparked by the growing global demand for cocoa, also supports the company’s long–term commitment to continuously invest in the cocoa sector and create more opportunities within the value chain.
“This kind of investment can serve as an engine to jump–start new economic activities,” Poelma said.
“It is part of our ongoing effort to build sustainable, local agri–food businesses, diversify revenue streams and support a thriving cocoa sector.”
The plant expansion project aligns with the government of Ghana’s vision to accelerate economic progress through agricultural industrialization whilst improving the welfare of farmers and solidifying the country’s position as one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa.
Plant Manager, Mr. Richard Adjei in a short address, praised the highly skilled Ghanaian team who run the Plant.
“I am happy to note, ladies and gentlemen, that this Plant which is now the biggest cocoa processing Plant in Ghana is run and managed 100% by Ghanaians. Our staff here is the reason we are where we are today and Cargill Ghana is an example of Ghanaian expertise and efficiency and by that our staff earned the right to grow the plant.” Mr. Adjei remarked.
Alongside the commissioning of the Tema processing facility, Cargill highlighted other efforts to support sector transformation and social impact, in partnership with state agencies such as COCOBOD and other key stakeholders such as CARE International and Safe Water Ghana. In 2021 alone, Cargill invested about GHc12m in supporting local community projects to build solar water systems and add school classroom blocks. In addition, Cargill provided funding and support for nearly 70 other community–identified projects.
Speaking about the importance of working with partners, Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director, Cargill Ghana, said: “Establishing close partnership with government agencies, technical partners and local community leaders enables us to make meaningful impacts in the communities where we do business. They share our vision and help guide our efforts in creating a sustainable cocoa supply chain. Working together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone.”
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent