Group secures key German partner to revolutionize Ghana, Nigeria’s cocoa commodity industry

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The group intends to leverage Ghana and Nigeria’s cocoa resources to tap into the more than US$ 100 billion markets of the four main commodities extracted from cocoa beans, namely: cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa cake and alkalised cocoa powder.

Together, these commodities are ten times more valuable than the raw cocoa beans that producer countries like Ghana and Nigeria are preoccupied with.

According to GLI, these commodities can earn Ghana an additional US$ 10 billion annually if the government of Ghana is serious enough about adding value to cocoa. But, GLI says its project in Ghana and Nigeria will prompt policymakers to see the full potential of cocoa.

On June 1, 2021, representatives of GLI from Germany and London met with the CEO of Foodmasters GmbH, Jurgen Fischer at the company’s headquarters close to Stuttgart and had over four (4) hours of intensive discussions on plans to set up in Ghana and Nigeria, the biggest commodities factory in Africa to process some 100,000 cocoa beans into the four major primary commodities from cocoa.

The group would be accessing cocoa from farmers in Ghana and Nigeria, as well as cultivating cocoa in an orchard style on 21,000 acres of land provided by Queen (Professor Emeritus) Vitoria Abike Adesuyi, the Queen of Afin Akoo in Ondo State-Nigeria.

The project is a joint initiative of GLI and Agro-Allied Commodity and Service Production Nigeria Limited, a Nigeria-based agro-commodities company founded by Queen (Prof.) Victoria Adesuyi that currently services a network of more than 20 million smallholder farmers in Nigeria, including cocoa farmers.

The two entities which currently have footprints in 10 African countries are structured as social business entities with the objective to cultivate and trade in High-Value Crops (HVC) to increase household income; create sustainable jobs and improve livelihoods for Ghanaians, Nigerian and African farmers.

We aim to achieve our objectives through improved yields, innovation, ecological diversity, value addition, sustainability, profitability, technology, precision agriculture and inclusiveness of the local community. Through our concept, we are creating community-based integrated modern agricultural enclaves across Africa to radically change the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, the youth, marginalised women and children, and street vendors in Africa,” said Stephen Adeoye, the Chief Executive Officer of GLI.

According to the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of GLI, Raphael Ofori-Adeniran, the group has positioned cocoa as its flagship project because of the immense economic potential that cocoa has beyond mere raw cocoa beans.

Our policymakers have often relished the value that the value chain of cocoa can bring to the economies of cocoa producers like Ghana and Nigeria, but their visions always end in mere rhetoric. We are here to make it a reality for Ghana and Nigeria to proudly say we are not merely exporting raw cocoa beans, but the high-value part of the beans, such as cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa cake and alkalised cocoa powder.

Individually, these commodities extracted from the dried beans have a higher value than the raw beans that are exported.

For instance, while Ghana and Nigeria are earning just about US$ 2.5 per kilogram on dried cocoa beans, they can earn an average of US$ 16 per kilogram of alkalised cocoa powder; US$ 7 per kilo on cocoa liquor, and an average of US$ 3 per kilo on cocoa butter and cocoa cake.

We plan to create a cocoa corridor between Ghana and Nigeria to extract maximum economic benefit from our cocoa and translate this benefit to the poor cocoa farmer who has been exploited needlessly for centuries. Our plan has been critically scrutinized by experts in the industry and they all conclude it is a brilliant project,” said Mr. Adeoye.

“With the assistance of more than 20 experts and companies from Germany, Portugal, UK, Ghana, Nigeria, and Pakistan, among others, we want to produce the highest quality cocoa brand in the world.”

Although in the 1970s Ghana and Nigeria were practically producing the same volume of cocoa annually at some 250,000 metric tonnes, Ghana has successfully transformed its cocoa industry to become the second-largest global supplier with a market share of about 30% and an annual average export of about one million metric tonnes.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has virtually remained stagnated at its pre-1970 state producing barely 250,000 metric tonnes annually.

We believe if Ghana and Nigeria team up on cocoa, they will edge out Ivory Coast as the biggest player in the industry. Indeed, Nigeria alone has the capacity to eclipse Ivory Coast’s current 60% market share. GLI is, therefore, going to use its foothold in Ghana and Nigeria to make this possible,” Mr. Ofori-Adeniran told Whatsup News.