COCOBOD had stated earlier this year that they wanted to process 50% of their cocoa production internally in future. We felt it was an ambitious plan, but this month Cargill announced they have completed an upgrade of their factory which will allow them to increase capacity by 20%.
According to an article from Peace FM Online the factory had already increased their production from 65,000 tonnes per annum to 75,000 tonnes per annum through efficiency gains.
The upgrade, which cost Cargill $13m and took 16 months, will predominantly be used to make cocoa powder, and pushes the production capacity of the plant to 90,000 tonnes per annum.
Cargill’s Harold Poelm was on hand for the launch, and told those assembled that this was a platform to jump start new economic opportunities.
In fact, $13m is pocket change to Cargill, but nevertheless is symbolic in its significance of increasing internal production, and making a small step toward that 50% number COCOBOD had earlier stated.
What struck me in the press coverage was that the plant was run 100% by Ghanaians. This fact wasn’t lost on President Nana Akufo Addo who referred to this point, during his speech, as the invited headline speaker of the event:
I want to congratulate the management and staff for their significant contribution to the success of this company…The commissioning of this expansion today underscores the importance of the private sector to government’s industrial transformation program.President Nana Akufo Addo
The factory is based in Tema, nearby to the port in Ghana, which is a popular area shared by a number of local and international corporations.