The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, says the government is committed to making the needed investment to increase cocoa production and make Ghana the number one cocoa producing and exporting country in the world.
He said with good investment and sound management, Ghana could move from the number two position to reclaim the number one spot which had eluded the nation for years.
He made the remark at the fifth anniversary of Cargill Ghana, a cocoa buying and processing company in Tema yesterday.
Cargill has been buying cocoa in Ghana for the past 40 years, and in November, 2008, it set up a processing plant in Tema to produce a variety of cocoa products.
At the ceremony, President Mahama and former President John Agyekum Kufuor jointly unveiled the five-year commemorative plaque.
President Mahama also launched the Cargill Cocoa Promise, a project to support cocoa farmers to increase their yield.
President on Cocoa
The President said cocoa remained the bedrock of Ghana’s economy, creating jobs for hundreds of people.
He said the government would do everything possible to increase production and maintain the quality of Ghana?s cocoa.
“With sound management, we can move to the number one spot,” he said.
President Mahama said the government was committed to supporting efforts at adding value to Ghana’s raw materials, especially cocoa.
He said it was only through the export of processed cocoa that the nation could derive the needed benefit from that sector.
He, therefore, charged the Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD) to supply more cocoa beans to local processing companies.
President Mahama said the $100 million investment made by Cargill in Ghana’s economy was a great testimony to the fact that Ghana was a good destination for investment.
He said Cargill?s cocoa products had enhanced Ghana’s image as an exporter of processed cocoa and asked other companies to also increase their investment in the country.
The Managing Director of Cargill, Mr Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, said the company, had over the past five years, been able to locally produce high quality cocoa products to meet the growing demand from customers across the world.
He said the Cocoa Promise project was aimed at reaching more than 20,000 farmers through dedicated farmer field schools by 2016.
The Business Unit Leader of Cargill, Mr Jos Deloor, said the company had drawn up a programme to invest in the training of farmers to increase production and support their future plans.
He lauded former President Kufuor for inaugurating the processing plant in November, 2008 and commended President Mahama for launching the company’s cocoa product, “Good Taste of Ghana”, in 2009.