The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) will today host a Cocoa Value Chain Investment conference to engender discussions on the exciting prospects of the country’s cocoa industry.

Under the theme “Ghana’s Brown Gold: Sustaining Investments & Leveraging AfCFTA”, the event is purposed to highlight the opportunities along the cocoa value chain that can be leveraged by investors, as well as sensitize industry players on valuable commercial opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Along with key stakeholders such as the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH), Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd, their deliberations will border on the current policy interventions being rolled out by government to foster the growth of the sector, and how the sector can be further enhanced.

By generating about US$2 billion annually in foreign exchange, cocoa continues to play an important role in Ghana’s economy, serving as a major contributor to government’s revenue. The industry employs about 800,000 farm families and has grossly expanded economic activities in rural communities.

In spite of the immense contribution of this agricultural commodity, the issue of ‘cocoa value addition’ has lingered on for years.

Successive governments have thus, made it a national goal in their bid to enhance earnings from the industry, in order to optimize the vast potential of the cocoa value chain.

According to the CEO of GIPC, Yofi Grant, the volatility of cocoa prices in the international market, makes it imperative for industry players to add value to cocoa produce.

He further opines that, while Ghana is open to welcoming more investors into the industry, there is concerted effort in partnering investors seeking to industrialize the cocoa sector and add value to the cocoa beans.

Meanwhile, Cocobod has stressed the need for multi-stakeholder partnerships in advancing the cocoa industry, as they seek joint efforts for planting and harvesting, purchases, collection and bagging, haulage, warehousing (partially) pests and disease control, research and development and external marketing, quality assurance, and processing.

The GIPC’s Cocoa Value Chain Investment Meeting will therefore encourage business-to-business engagements between local and foreign industry players, in upscaling the sector.