The government of Ghana is hoping to collaborate with the Swiss government in adding value to cocoa.
The partnership with the Swiss government will minimize the export of raw cocoa beans and cocoa products and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
This comes on the back of the Cocoa Sustainability Initiative by one of Switzerland’s largest chocolate manufacturers, Halba.
Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, during a cocktail event at the Swiss Residence on Monday, told Citi Business News the government is considering getting Halba to begin full-scale processing in Accra to boost production in the sector.
“They [Halba] import significant amounts of cocoa beans to Switzerland for processing. We think that it is important to continue that partnership and, with time, see how it is feasible to get them to start full-scale processing in Accra,” he mentioned.
“President Akufo-Addo has a vision to ensure that majority of cocoa that we harvest and produce here in Ghana is processed right here so that we can have the jobs created, economic benefits, and skills transfer and inclusive economic growth that the President has set to achieve for the Ghanaian people.”
Ghana in recent years has begun increasing its own cocoa processing. For example, in 2019, it increased processing from 200,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes.
Though analysts have welcomed the move, it mostly remains at the stage of semi-finished products. This means the major share of value in a chocolate bar is still generated abroad.
Switzerland is one of the leaders in cocoa processing and manufacturing of tertiary cocoa products.
For years now, one of Switzerland’s largest chocolate manufacturers, Halba, has been operating a CHF3.5 million funded program known as the Cocoa Sustainability Initiative which ensures sustainable and alternative livelihoods for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
The CEO of Switzerland’s largest chocolate producer, Halba, Andreas Hasler outlined the company’s future plans for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
“We are campaigning for smallholder farmers to earn a living income in Ghana. We started the project last October, and now we’ve paid the first amount of about US$84,000 as an additional compensation for more than 300 cocoa farmers. The expansion continues, and 450 farmers can profit from this added income.”