Ghana’s Cocoa processing giant, Cargill, Tuesday officiall y inaugurated a new US$ 100 cocoa processing facility in Tema, 25 kilometres eas t of Accra. the capital.
The plant, which uses the latest technology, has already started production and has the capacity to transform 65,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per annum into high-q u ality cocoa liquor, butter and powders, a statement from Cargill said here.
The inauguration of the plant was carried out by Ghana’s President John Agyekum Kufuor and Mr. Greg Page, chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill.
Kufuor said the plant would provide an opportunity for Ghana’s cocoa products to penetrate the international markets.
Cargill operates a network of processing and chocolate manufacturing facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Cote d’Ivoire, Brazil a nd the US and President Kufuor said the plant would have have tremendous impact o n the national economy and enhance the country’s image globally.
Mr. Page said: “This cocoa facility already has brought employment to almost a t housand construction workers; created new opportunities for Ghanaian cocoa farme r s; provided full time employment and training for about 200 employees in the pla n t, indirect employment for hundreds more, and supports Ghana’s growing economy.
“At these times of global financial uncertainty, it is particularly pleasing to mark an investment that will bring security, confidence and hope to so many and p rovide a wide range of high quality cocoa powders and other cocoa products for c u stomers globally..”
The statement said the Tema plant would extend Cargill’s West Africa range of co coa powders so that customers would benefit from new colours and flavours, from w hich tailor-made products could be made to meet their specific needs.
It will complement Cargill’s existing cocoa processing facility in West Africa ( in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire).
The statement said a supply agreement was signed between Cargill and the Ghana C ocoa Board in June 2006 and the official groundbreaking took place in July 2007.
The Tema facility has been designed with the potential to expand capacity to 120 ,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per annum. Such an increase in Ghanaian cocoa processing is consistent with the country’s o wn targets.