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Here’s why Ghana is the second largest cocoa grower in the world yet spends $45 million to import chocolates

Ghana spends an average of $45 million (GH¢216 million) every year to import chocolate and other cocoa derivatives for special occasions.

Chocolates

The imports are mostly done in the last quarter of the year, strategically to meet increased demand during occasions such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

The Managing Director of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) Limited, Nana Agyenim Boateng I, made the revelation.

Although Ghana is the second largest grower of cocoa in the world, the country lacks adequate facilities to process the raw material into a finished product for consumption.

Again, Africa produces almost 75 per cent of global cocoa output. However, it enjoys only five per cent of the $100 billion chocolate industry, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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The imports, according to Mr Boateng I, were mostly to meet the country’s (Ghana) strong appetite for foreign chocolates, which is fuelled largely by a seeming lack of local substitutes.

The CPC boss wants to make the consumer, who is used to foreign products, see that what non-cocoa growing countries could do, Ghana, through CPC, could do better.

"Now, we are targeting the supermarkets and the big shops for the consumer to distinguish between our products and the other ones that are imported,” adding that, “this will generate huge revenue for the country and also increase employment,” he said.

Switzerland and Belgium are the world’s top two producers of chocolate, and they reportedly earn about $14 billion and $12 billion respectively from the product on an annual basis.

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