For what appears to be the first time in Ghanaian history after Tetteh Quarshie brought cocoa beans to Ghana, the country has approved importation of raw cocoa beans to Accra for use following Government’s inability to meet local demand.
In a worrying scenario, COCOBOD, the state’s business arm with near-monopoly over the purchase and retail of cocoa beans has been almost run aground, unable to meet payments on purchased beans or supply products to some clients.
Sources say this has compelled some clients to look for external sources of supply to meet local demand, even as galamsey activities and cocoa smuggling over COCOBOD’s inability to pay threaten the future of Ghana’s cocoa industry.
Among companies seeking to import cocoa beans to meet local demand given permission to import is Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company.
The State through COCOBOD granted it permission barely a fortnight ago to import
3,500 tonnes of cocoa beans from Ghana’s neighbouring states, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
1,000 tonnes of raw cocoa beans are to be imported from Nigeria, while Ivory Coast will export 2,500 tonnes to Accra to meet demand of the local cocoa beans user, following what sources described as COCOBOD’s inability to supply the produce locally.