ABIDJAN, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Ivory Coast will increase its cocoa-processing capacity by 14% as well as boost storage space by building two new factories over the next two years, the country’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said on Tuesday.
The two plants, one in Abidjan and another in San Pedro, will together add 100,000 tonnes to the 710,000 tonnes of processing capacity already in place in the world’s top cocoa-producing country, CCC managing director Yves Brahima said.
The two factories will add 300,000 tonnes of storage, he said, and will be built using 216 billion CFA Francs ($389 million) of Chinese investment.
China Light Industry Design Engineering Company will build the factories and 40% of output will go to China, he added.
Ivory Coast and neighbouring Ghana, which together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa, agreed last year to sell cocoa at a premium to ease pervasive farmer poverty.
The extra storage space will allow suppliers to hold back beans from the market to buoy prices and help maintain that premium for farmers, traders said. ($1 = 555.0000 CFA francs) (Reporting by Ange Aboa Writing by Edward McAllister Editing by Mark Heinrich)