Ghana Set To Process 40% of Cocoa Locally

Ghana is projected to increase its local processing of cocoa to 40% in the coming years, according to the 2013 Economic Report on Africa (ERA) released March 25, 2013. Co-produced by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU), the report said Ghana the world�s second largest producer of cocoa, plans to substantially raise the internal processing of the commodity to enable it consolidate its role as a key driver of its economic development. �The country hopes to increase local value addition through the introduction of incentives in the sector,� the report quoted. The report which was released at the ongoing 6th Joint ECA-AU Meeting in Abidjan, titled �Making the most of Africa�s �commodities: Industrializing for growth, jobs and economic transformation�. It mentioned that the incentives Ghana plans to introduce include price discounts, extended credit payment, permission to import essential machinery, and enforcement of Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status on companies operating in the zone. The report argues that Ghana�s planned development model is imperative because �it worked successfully in some countries in Europe, Asia and South America.� Figures quoted in the report shows that the proportion of cocoa exports processed domestically increased steadily from about 12.4% in 2007 to 25.6% in 2011, a trend which the ERA says is expected to continue along the cocoa value chain. It added that cocoa is Ghana�s second most important foreign exchange earner after gold, which accounts for 23% of total merchandise export earnings in 2011.