News earlier this week of China having started exploration of growing cocoa for export had lots of tongues waging over the potential impact that the edevlopment could have on major producers like Ghana and cocoa.
Notably, the Agric Minister, Hon. Afriyie Akoto, commented on the development earlier this week stressing that Ghana will do everything possible to maintain her lead in production of the criop which is a major export commodity for us.
On Friday evening, Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s position on the development was made public through Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a relation of the president.
In a Facebook post, Gabby said during a discussion with the minister, he displayed a refreshing and capitalist mindset to the Chinese move.
“For Ken, China growing cocoa can only help to achieve what isn’t there today: Chinese taste for cocoa products. If it will significantly cultivate Chinese taste for cocoa then Ghana is bound to be a very big winner, he reckons.
China’s population is estimated at 1.4 billion people, equivalent to 18.5% of total world population. That’s what he is focusing on,” Gabby paraphrased.
In the Minister’s own words: “My sense is that they can never produce enough cocoa to meet domestic demand in China let alone export.
“China is a tea-drinking society. Yet, Starbucks is benefiting hugely today from a recent taste for coffee in China which was deliberately cultivated. I think we should welcome China’s new interest in cocoa. It can only mean a new and exciting market for us,” Ofori-Atta stressed.
Ghana and Ivory Coast according to records produce over 60% of the world’s cocoa beans. The produce is their biggest export over the years even though experts have repeatedly advanced the need for efforts at value addition to be scaled up. Another area of concern is the use of child labour on most cocoa farms in both countries.