In Ghana, cocoa has been a constant lifeline for its economy. According to research, Ghana is the second-largest exporter in the world accounting for 20% of global production. It produces almost a million tonnes of cocoa beans every single year. Most of these cocoa beans harvested in Ghana are exported to other Countries for processing. In recent times, however, Ghana has taken to processing cocoa beans on its own. The aim of this was to expand cocoa processing, intending to produce semi-finished high-quality cocoa products and confectionary.
Most cocoa farms in Ghana belong to families which pass them on from generation to generation. According to most cocoa farmers in Ghana, their cocoa farms were given to them by their fathers who also got it from his father. A lot of people know that chocolates are produced in Ghana, but they do not know what goes into the production of cocoa.
When cocoa pods are ripe and plucked from the trees by the farmers, they are left to ferment which takes about a week. This develops the flavour into the chocolate taste loved by consumers all around the World. After this, the beans are dried for another week and then they are packaged and sold out to the Ghana cocoa board. From there, most of the beans are exported to other countries to be processed or retailed.
A large number of cocoa farmers in Ghana believe that value should be added locally to cocoa. If demand increases locally, then it will be of great help to them. It is better to produce chocolate locally rather than exporting the beans to other countries for processing. Some years back, there were only two companies in Ghana that processed cocoa but now, there are so many of such companies spread all over Ghana.
Local chocolate producers in Ghana don’t have it easy. Most startup companies, often complain that there is no assistance from the Government and their day to day operations are deeply affected by the unreliable power supply and the fluctuating price of imported goods like milk and sugar.
The Way Forward
There’s been several thoughts and efforts directed towards bringing cocoa home. This is exactly what Niche is hoping to accomplish. According to the managing director of Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd the company is proud to of being able to process about 10% of Ghana’s Cocoa and also exporting to the international market. By doing that, they are creating employment and also bringing in foreign exchange into the Company.
In a few years to come, Ghana will be able to employ even more people into the cocoa industries and also bring in new technologies to assist the farmers in the production of cocoa.
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