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Dr. Bawumia Urges Manufacturing Companies To Add Value To Products
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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.

Source: By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

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