Tema — The Managing Director of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Nana Dr Agyenim Boateng, has advised cocoa farmers and land owners not to sell their farmlands to galamseyers (illegal miners) for a-one-time gain.
He said the yearly benefits accruing to cocoa farmers and the country from processing cocoa into finished goods and the health benefits from consuming cocoa products far outweigh that from a-one-time sale to galamseyers who destroy the farm, land and environment.
Nana Dr Boateng was addressing members of the Ghana Cocoa Sheanut Farmers Association (COCOSHE) during a one-day visit to the maiden cocoa factory on Tuesday.
Seventeen members of the association led by its National President, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, visited the factory to learn about how cocoa is processed into Golden Tree products like Chocolate, Royale, All Time Instant Drinking Chocolate and Cocoa Butter among others.
Nana Dr Boateng said government gave CPC $3 million stimulus package which it had been investing alongside other funds to expand its processing capacity from the current 64,500 metric tonnes to 87,500 metric tonnes to increase its range of valued added products and rake in more revenue for the country.
This, he noted would subsequently increase their confectionery production from 3,000 capacity to 15,000.
He explained that exporting the raw cocoa beans brought in $10 billion for Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire who produced 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa, while the semi finished product like cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder generated $28.8 billion, annually respectively.
Again, processing to the tertiary state yielded $177 billion. The break down being $100 billion for chocolate, $70 billion for skin care and cosmetics and $7 for hot chocolate annually.
He explained that government in the scheme of things had ensured that 70 per cent of the free on board price (market value of the goods) goes to farmers proving the point that farmers stood to gain more than everyone when cocoa was processed into finished goods, hence the need to jealously keep their farms.
Nana Dr Boateng said cocoa contained important polyphenols and outlined the health benefits of consuming cocoa products which include reduction of blood pressure, delays ageing, boosts sexual desire and performance, prevents stroke by improving blood circulation, provides energy and fights stress.
He noted that the country’s fight against the COVID-19 had been aided by the consumption of chocolate products which the company donated to the treatment centres to help boost the immune systems of patients […]