ONE of the ways that the country envisaged to earn and make more money on its agricultural products is to invest in agro-food processing.
By that manufacturing industries are expected to add value to local agricultural products such as cocoa, cashew, palm oil fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, the country’s a wide range of agricultural products are currently exported in their raw state.
But over the years, the government has made strenuous efforts to establish a cocoa processing factory to add value to the product that also happens to be the major foreign exchange earner for the country.
Indeed, the government established the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) to manufacture liquor, butter, powder, chocolate and confectionary from cocoa.
And as a matter of fact, chocolate produced by CPC is in high demand and regarded as the best in the world.
Besides, chocolates produced by CPC has won many awards around the world.
Despite the numerous achievements, the company appears to be facing challenges that has led to the closure of two of its three factories.
Although the official explanation for the closure is attributed to routine maintenance work, industry watchers point to other factors other than maintenance work.
According to them, the factory is facing operational challenges, including shortage of cocoa beans.
The Times, however, is pursued to believe the official position of the company, but unable to completely disregard the position held by others that there is shortage of cocoa beans which has forced the company to shut down two of its factories.
We are not going to argue about the difference in positions, but the fact that the factory has shut down part of the factory and asked workers to take their leave raises concerns.
Although it makes technical sense to embark on a routine maintenance, the manner in which this particular decision is being carried out raises many questions.
For instance, why shut down two factories and ask the workers to take compulsory leave when the effort should rather be geared towards increased productivity?
In fact, there are many questions than answers regarding the closure and we call on the company to come clear with a more convincing reason for the shutdown.
The CPC is a public company and its primary goal should be to make profit for its shareholders, but it would appear that they are struggling and yet do not want to reveal the challenges to the public.
We urged the government to intervene immediately by assessing the situation and offer held, if they need it. But we believe that they need whichever way one looks to bring the company back on its feet.