At this year’s Ghana Cocoa Awards event, the CEO of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, revealed that the cocoa supply chain is worth more than US$100 billion.
Despite Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire cumulatively accounting for over 60% of global cocoa bean production, Joseph Boahen Aidoo says both countries together earn less than 5% out of the US$100 billion. This is due to the lack of enough value added to the cocoa bean.
“The actual worth of cocoa is found in the secondary and tertiary levels of the product within the value chain,” he said.
“When cocoa is processed, then value is added, that is where the money is,” he further said.
He envisions the day where the streets in Accra will be blocked on Chocolate Day for young entrepreneurs to showcase their skills in cocoa value addition, and young graduates transform the cocoa bean into valuable products and sold to restaurant chains and hotels.
He throws the challenge to young and aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities cocoa offers, to grab their piece of the almost US100billion worth of the global cocoa value chain
To name three, Decorkraft, fairafric, and Ohene Cocoa are some pacesetters in cocoa value chain businesses. Having successfully braved the odds, these businesses add value to cocoa by processing to sell to the local and international markets.
Opportunities in Cocoa – African and Asia Markets
According to Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Europe and America are currently not a lucrative market for cocoa. They are consuming less chocolate not because of cocoa, but because of the sugar content.
This is as a result of the aging population in those regions. The current median age of the population in Europe is 43 and that of the UK is 40.
Asia, particularly China, on the other hand, provides a suitable target market for value added cocoa products. There are “over 700 million people in China who are moving into the middle class” and their lifestyle changes are causing the demand for chocolate to rise.
Besides, China has a median age of 32 years. Joseph Boahen also recommends India as a favourable target market for young entrepreneurs who may enter Ghana’s cocoa industry.
Africa, however, holds the greatest potential for markets in value added cocoa products. An opportunity that must not be overlooked by upcoming and young entrepreneurs.
“In 15-20 years time, the centre for cocoa consumption will be Africa.” Africa has a population of 1.3 billion with the median age of Africa being 19. This, therefore, calls on the need to promote the consumption of chocolate and cocoa more than anywhere else on the globe”. said Joseph Boahen.
Opportunities in cocoa – Boost in cocoa production
Several measures have been implemented to ensure Ghana’s Cocoa is boosted on the world stage. Joseph Boahen is confident that Ghana can produce 2 million metric tonnes of cocoa yearly within the next 3 to 4 years.
Through “vertical productivity” farmers can now produce lots of cocoa on a small piece of land.
“One acre of land can get you 40 bags,” he said.
The country has registered a tree “having over 2000 pods” of cocoa. Motorized machines and pruners are being introduced to replace the traditional forms of farming such as the use of machete and hoes.