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Vice President urges manufacturing companies to add value to products

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 8, GNA –
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday said government would continue to
provide a conducive environment for businesses to grow and support the
establishment of new ones.

He said the
Government was particularly interested in encouraging value addition since it
would provide more product lines and, therefore, open more avenues for job
creation to accelerate development.

Vice President
Bawumia said this at the Tema Free Zone Enclave when he paid a surprise visit
to the place to acquaint himself with the operations of businesses there.

The Vice President
and his entourage toured two cocoa processing companies; Barry Callebaut and
Niche Cocoa Industries Limited.

He said the visit
was to afford him the opportunity to understand their challenges in order to
find lasting solutions.

Vice President
Bawumia said: “I’m happy to see that these companies are being run by Ghanaians
or have a significant Ghanaian representation.

“I’m happy to see
Ghanaian men and women doing an earnest job to earn a living. But we want to
see more value addition. There are so many jobs we can create with value
addition.

“I also came here
to get a better understanding of the sort of challenges you have because we are
not satisfied with the level of cocoa processed here.”

He said President
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had charged the country to process and add value to
her raw materials to boost exports and create more jobs.

“So we wanted to
see the challenges that Barry Callebaut and others are having, and find ways to
help them,” he said.

Mrs Charity A.
Sackitey, the Managing Director of Barry Callebaut, who took the Vice President
round the factory, said the factory operated 24/7 and, therefore, paid higher
tariff than the figure announced by the Electricity Company of Ghana.

She, therefore,
appealed for a discount from the Ghana Cocoa Board during the main cocoa season
to help the Company to double production and create employment.

“The company
receives a discount for the light crop but no subsidy for the main crop, and
this has limited its ability to expand,” she said.

Mr Edmund Poku, the
Managing Director of Niche Cocoa Industry Limited, called for financial support
for cocoa processing companies to help them to buy more beans for processing
and expansion.

The Vice President,
in response, promised to look into their concerns and engage the appropriate
stakeholders for a speedy solution.

Barry Callebaut,
which is headquartered in Switzerland, is the first company to move into the
Tema Free Zones Enclave in 2001, and has been growing steadily.

The Niche Cocoa
Industry Limited, on the other hand, is a wholly Ghanaian owned cocoa
processing company established in May, 2011.

It recently doubled
its capacity from 30,000 metric tonnes to 60,000 a year thus, making it one of
the largest cocoa processing companies in the country.

GNA

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