Ghana must be production hub – Okyenhene

 Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin says Gha­na’s economic woes may linger forever if the country continues to be a major exporter of raw materials.

He said the only way to ensure economic prosperity for the coun­try was to become a production hub and contributor of refined products on the world market.

According to Osagyefo, like many other African countries, Ghana was confronted with a huge balance of payment deficit occasioned by the country’s failure to boost local production.

Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin hinted that no country can develop when its value of exported raw materials outstrip local pro­duction and value-added products.

Speaking at the launch of Honi­co Chocolate Spread and Beverage at Kyebi Amanfrom yesterday, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin in­dicated that the statistics in the cocoa sector alone was alarming and most challenging.

He said, West Africa alone accounts for over 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa production, with Ghana accounting for over 30 per cent of the total production.

“It is ironic to learn that the entire West African Sub-region produces a pitiable less than one per cent of the world’s chocolate. Our contribution to other val­ue-added cocoa products is even more scandalous. The implication of this for our country and conti­nent is far-reaching,” Okyenhene expressed worry.

He intimated, the lack of val­ue-addition in the cocoa enterprise means that cocoa farmers, especial­ly smallholder farmers, only get a meagre share in the estimated 130-billion-dollar global chocolate industry.

The cocoa industry, he men­tioned has the potential to resolve the entire economic problems of Ghana.

“The launching of Honico Chocolate Spread and Beverage is commendable and praise-worthy. It represents a bold but humble attempt to increase our share of the value chain in the chocolate in­dustry,” he said.

“After many decades of exper­imentation, it is time to come to the realisation that agri-business and agro-processing through

 value addition is the way to go,” Okyenhene stated.

Osagyefo called on the govern­ment to institute measures aimed at boosting the productive capacity of small and medium enterprises in Ghana, especially those engaged in the agro-processing value chain.

He said the location of the Honico Chocolate factory in Amanfrom is strategic because the factory is positioned in a cocoa producing area which places them close to the raw materials in part and closer to the farmers who undoubtedly would be inspired and encouraged when shown the kind of value-added to their cocoa beans.

He urged management of the company to institute measures to meet quality standards, adding, “that is the only way to ensure sustenance in creating jobs and improving the standard of living of our farmers.”


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