Although Ghana prides itself as one of the biggest exporters of cocoa beans in the World, the country is yet to realise its full benefit as a huge chunk of produce is often exported to be processed.
For decades Ghana has been trailing Ivory Coast as the second highest exporter of the cash crop in the World. According to a report by statista.com, Ghana produced approximately 835 thousand tons of cocoa beans in 2012/2013 and was expected to produce 850 thousand tons in 2016/2017.
However, there isn’t any clear roadmap or conscious effort as far as I know directed towards adding value to the crop, which is a sad case actually because producing enough cocoa beans for export is good but adding value to it will enable us realise its full potentials; industrialisation, job creation and prosperity.
In his 61st Independence Speech at the Independence Square yesterday, President Akufo-Addo reiterated a long held view by many that adding value to raw materials is key to industrialisation, prosperity and jobs.
“It is unacceptable that, even though we produce in West Africa 65% of cocoa beans in the World, yet we earn only between 3.5% and 6 % of the final price of cholate bar,” he decried.
“Value addition is therefore imperative if we are to maximize the potential to pursue resource- based industrialization,” he advised.
He bemoaned the fact that the country is well endowed with many natural resources such as gold, bauxite, diamonds, oil, timber, cocoa, water, and fertile land among others but the state of the nation shows no semblance to these resources.
He added that although all these resources are in the country, the people wallow in poverty, huge infrastructural deficit, mismanagement, corruption and high fiscal deficits.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng