ACCRA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- China will help the government of Ghana in constructing a new cocoa processing plant, according to Chinese Economic and Commercial Counsellor Chai Zhijing.
Chai said this on Wednesday when a group of Chinese experts called on the management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for discussions on the project.
Chai explained that the Chinese experts is in the country to carry out feasibility study on the project.
"The main purpose for the visit to Ghana is to see how much it will cost to build such a processing factory with capacity of 40,000 tones. There are a lot of technical details involved in building a factory which will be the basis for the final decision by the Chinese government," the counsellor said.
The Chinese counsellor said the Chinese government seeks to support Ghana to start exporting value added products including cocoa, hence the idea of cocoa processing factory.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana COCOBOD, said that the total projected cost of the factory to be located in Sefwi Wiawso, 398 km north-west of the capital, one of Ghana's major cocoa producing areas, was 60 million U.S. dollars.
"Due to the volatility of prices in the international cocoa market, Ghana seeks to develop new cocoa consumption markets for the product. Meanwhile the conventional cocoa market, in Europe and America has become stagnant but there is a new consumption pattern emerging in Asia, especially in China which we seek to explore," Aidoo explained.
He added that the conception of the new plant was timely and will further support the vision of the current government to transform Ghana into an industrialized nation.