Global Agri-Development Company (AgDevCo), has announced a $3 million investment in Kokoo Limited, the only licensed cocoa buying company in Ghana which is owned by a cooperative of Ghanaian smallholder cocoa farmers. This trade finance facility will allow the company to purchase cocoa beans from its network of about 100,000 farmers.
“AgDevCo looks forward to building a long-term partnership with Kokoo and supporting the company’s innovative work to develop the Ghanaian cocoa industry for the benefit of its membership,” said Chris Isaac, AgDevCo’s Managing Director for West Africa.
Ghana has been seeking different ways to improve the production and processing of cocoa in the country in order to reap the full benefits of the global cocoa market.
Earlier this month, Ghana unveiled plans to process more of its cocoa beans in the country. According to current estimates, Ghana produced 880,000 tonnes of the beans in 2018. However, the West African nation recently achieved the capacity to process about 300,000 tonnes of that number locally; less than 50 percent of what it produces. The new processing capacity is a 19 percent increase from 252,000 tonnes previously processed locally and embodies Ghana’s recent ambitions to protect itself from price fluctuations of Cocoa worldwide through increased processing.
The government is also committed to raising productivity, ensuring a fair price for farmers and finding ways to add value through local processing. Thus, AgGevCo’s investment in Kokoo will not only impact farmer-based organizations but also the economy at large. Already, Ghana is the second largest producer of Cocoa worldwide, second only to Ivory Coast. Both countries produce 60 percent of the World’s supply of the beans.
Kuapa Kokoo was established in 1993 following the liberalization of Ghana’s cocoa industry. The company holds the largest shareholding (44 percent) in the Divine Chocolate Company, which produces high-quality branded chocolate for UK and US markets, made exclusively from Kuapa Kokoo beans.