President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Friday commissioned a US$13 million cocoa processing plant expansion of the Cargill Cocoa Processing Company in the Tema Free Zones enclave.
The investment is expected to increase the company's cocoa-grinding capability by 20 per cent to match growing consumer demands for cocoa powder.
The expanded facility will bolster the company's annual production capacity to 90,000 tonnes and support hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs.
At the commission ceremony, President Akufo-Addo commended the company for expanding its production capacity when many companies in the world were rather cutting down production.
"Over the past decade, your contribution to the growth of the Ghanaian economy in terms of investment and export is worth celebrating, having increased your initial investment of US$100 million in 2008 to US$130 million in 2021," he said
The President said the expansion of the plant underscored the importance of the private sector in the government's Ghana Beyond Aid vision.
To achieve the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, the Government, he stated, had focused on laying a strong foundation for economic transformation by restoring macro-economic stability, stimulating the private sector through business regulatory reforms and restructuring the financial sector to ensure easier access to finance.
"We also embarked on an ambitious industrial transformation programmes such as the One District One Factory initiative and the Planting for Food and Jobs programme aimed at accelerating the structural transformation of our national economy from moving away from dependence of raw material export to value adding economy."
President Akufo-Addo urged other investors to take advantage of the business friendly climate in Ghana and invest in the country.
He gave the assurance that Ghana would continue to create and maintain the conducive investment environment that not only guarantees the safety of Investments, but good returns as well.
Harold Poelma, President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, explained that the project, which was sparked by the growing global demand for cocoa, also supports the company’s long-term commitment to continuously invest in the cocoa sector and create more opportunities within the value chain.
“This kind of investment can serve as an engine to jump-start new economic activities,” Poelma said. “It’s part of our ongoing effort to build sustainable, local agri-food businesses, diversify revenue streams and support a thriving cocoa sector.”
The plant expansion project, Mr Poelma said, aligned with the government of Ghana’s vision to accelerate economic progress through agricultural industrialization whilst improving the welfare of farmers and solidifying the country’s position as one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa.
Cargill has been buying cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years and in 2008 opened its state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema.
The company now has over 330 permanent and contracted employees processing cocoa products to service food and confectionary customers locally and around the world.