The investment is expected to increase the company’s cocoa-grinding capacity by 20% to match the growing consumer demand for cocoa powder.
The expanded facility will bolster Cargill’s annual production capacity to 90,000 tonnes and support hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs.
At the commissioning ceremony, President Akufo-Addo commended Cargill for expanding its production capacity at a time when many other businesses across the world are cutting down production.
“Over the past decade, your contribution to the growth of the Ghanaian economy in terms of investment and export is worth celebrating, having increased your initial investment of US$100 million in 2008 to US$130 million in 2021,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the expansion of the plant highlighted the importance of the private sector to the government’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
To achieve this vision, the government, he said, had focused on laying a strong foundation for economic transformation by restoring macroeconomic stability, stimulating the private sector through business regulatory reform and restructuring the financial sector to ensure easier access to finance.
“We also embarked on ambitious industrial transformation programmes such as the One District, One Factory initiative and the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, aimed at accelerating the structural transformation of our national economy, moving away from dependence on raw material exports to a value-adding economy.”
President Akufo-Addo urged other investors to take advantage of the business-friendly climate in Ghana and invest in the country.
He gave his assurance that Ghana will continue to create and maintain an environment conducive to investment, one which guarantees not only the safety of money invested but also good returns.
The president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Harold Poelma, explained that the project, which was sparked by the growing global demand for cocoa, also supports the company’s long-term commitment to invest continuously in the cocoa sector and create more opportunities in the value chain.
“This kind of investment can serve as an engine to jump-start new economic activities,” Poelma said. “It is part of our ongoing effort to build sustainable, local agri-food businesses, diversify revenue streams and support a thriving cocoa sector.”
The plant expansion project, Poelma said, aligns with the Government of Ghana’s efforts to accelerate economic progress through agricultural industrialization while improving the welfare of farmers and buttressing Ghana’s position as one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa.
Cargill has been buying cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years and opened its state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema in 2008.
The company now has over 330 permanent and contract employees processing cocoa products to service food and confectionery clients locally and around the world.
By: Isaac Clottey