The Ghana Standards Authority is set to push for a national policy that will ensure that at least 50% of cocoa produced in the country is processed before exportation.
Cocoa contributes about 25% to the GDP, amounting to over $2 billion in foreign exchange annually.
Ghana, although second on the list of cocoa producers in the world, does not place favorably among the list of processors.
Speaking to Citi Business News after a workshop to address standards in the cocoa industry, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professeor Nii Otoo Dodoo bemoaned the country’s inability to add value to the beans.
He argued that “adding value has become a useful slogan without the country translating it into reality. Ghana already has the quality infrastructure, at the end of the day, making money from the raw beans is the aim.”
Prof. Dodoo stated that the adaptation of a policy in the shortest possible time will kick start the move to address the issue.
He remarked that “Everyone knows the volume of chocolate sold globally is in billions of dollars. What does it take for the country that produces the beans to get a good slice of this huge amount? That is what we are going to address.”
He observed that the authority will submit a proposal to the Trade Ministry in the coming days to request for a national consultation forum to be held by the end of September.
The workshop was part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the Authority.
It brought together stakeholders including cocoa processors, officials of Cocobod and the Ghana Standards Authority to discuss ways to add value to Ghana’s beans and to improve the standards of the Cocoa industry.
There are currently 10 standards used to regulate the sector.
The workshop was on theme “Promotion of National Standards for the Cocoa Industry.”
By: Nana Oye Ankrah/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana