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Regional News Thu, 6 Jan 2022

Land owners urged not to sell farmlands to galamseyers

The Managing Director of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Nana Dr Agyenim Boateng, has advised cocoa farmers and landowners not to sell their farmlands to galamseyers (illegal miners) for a one-time gain.

He said the yearly benefits accruing to cocoa farmers and the country from processing cocoa into finished goods and the health benefits from consuming cocoa products far outweigh that from a one-time sale to galamseyers who destroy the farm, land and environment.

Nana Boateng was addressing members of the Ghana Cocoa Sheanut Farmers Association (COCOSHE) during a one-day visit to the maiden cocoa factory on Tuesday.

Seventeen members of the association led by its National President, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, visited the factory to learn about how cocoa is processed into Golden Tree products like Chocolate, Royale, All Time Instant Drinking Chocolate and Cocoa Butter among others.

Nana Dr Boateng said the government gave CPC $3 million stimulus package which it had been investing alongside other funds to expand its processing capacity from the current 64,500 metric tonnes to 87,500 metric tonnes to increase its range of value-added products and rake in more revenue for the country.

This, he noted would subsequently increase their confectionery production from 3,000 capacity to 15,000.

He explained that exporting the raw cocoa beans brought in $10 billion for Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire who produced 60 percent of the world’s cocoa, while the semi-finished product like cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder generated $28.8 billion, annually respectively.

Again, processing to the tertiary state yielded $177 billion. The breakdown being $100 billion for chocolate, $70 billion for skincare and cosmetics and $7 for hot chocolate annually.

He explained that the government in the scheme of things had ensured that 70 percent of the free onboard price (market value of the goods) goes to farmers proving the point that farmers stood to gain more than everyone when cocoa was processed into finished goods, hence the need to jealously keep their farms.

Nana Dr Boateng said cocoa contained important polyphenols and outlined the health benefits of consuming cocoa products which include reduction of blood pressure, delays aging, boosts sexual desire and performance, preventing stroke by improving blood circulation, providing energy and fighting stress.

He noted that the country’s fight against the COVID-19 had been aided by the consumption of chocolate products which the company donated to the treatment centers to help boost the immune systems of patients and caregivers.

He said to boost consumption of its products and meet the pocket of ordinary people, the company would soon introduce smaller packages on the shelves.

The visitors had the opportunity to taste foods prepared with prime cocoa butter produced by CPC and use skin products produced with cocoa butter.

“We are currently working with the Food and Drugs Authority towards licensing our prime cocoa butter so that we can put it out on the market,” he said.

The Managing Director of CPC said the pandemic slowed down sales for the past two years but he was hopeful that it would pick up as more people got vaccinated and the world opened up.

He said additionally, the company would soon commence a $14 million waste cocoa shells biomass investment project that would generate 4 megawatts and has the potential to reduce their cost of operations by 63 percent after five years and yield potash and charcoal as by-products.

Alhaji Bukari appealed to the government to put measures in place to ensure an adequate supply of fertilizer next year.
Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh
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