Despite being the world's second largest producer of cocoa, Ghana consumes 12.5 million kilograms of cocoa products per year.
This means every Ghanaian consumes 0.5 kilograms of cocoa products produced per year in the country, according to the Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Noah Kwasi Amenyah.
This consumption data is in sharp contrast with the developed countries which do not produce cocoa but consume the sweet taste of cocoa products especially chocolate.
These countries include; Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, UK, Austria, and Norway which consume 11.2 kilograms, 11.1 kilograms, 11 kilograms, 10.7 kilograms, 10.2 kilograms, 9.4 kilograms, and 8.5 kilograms respectively.
There is a profound dichotomy between those nations that extract the raw materials including Ghana and those who indulge in the finished product.
The latest Worldwide Chocolate Rates noted that all but one of the top twenty countries that consume chocolate are considered 'well-developed' or 'advanced'.
The reality exists that the processing and consumption of chocolate products is Western World dominated. 70% of the worldwide profit from chocolate sales is concentrated in these countries. 80% of the world chocolate market is accounted for by just six transnational companies, including Nestle, Mars and Cadbury.
Europeans alone consume around 40% of the world's cocoa per year, 85% of which is imported from West Africa notably Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Cocoa industry watchers say there have recently been efforts to initiate a fair-trade movement, which would encourage the purchase of cocoa from developing country producers at a fair price. However, tariff escalation continues to me a major problem, which acts to drive chocolate comsumers and cocoa exporters further apart.
Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Ghana's cocoa industry regulator which is waiting for a $1.2 billion syndicated loan from international banks for 2013/14 cocoa crop purchases as against $1.5 billion for 2012/13, said it hopes to raise funds to purchase 830,000 tonnes of cocoa from farmers for the season.
We hope to raise Ghana's cocoa production to an average of one million tonnes annually from 800,000 tonnes through improved farming methods, favourable weather conditions, and better incentives, the Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Noah Kwasi Amenyah told the Business Chronicle after a press briefing on the upcoming Cocoa Festival/COPAL Cocoa Day ceremony in Accra, yesterday.
To further boost the consumption of cocoa products in the country, COCOBOD in conjunction with stakeholders in the cocoa industry is organizing a National Cocoa Fair from Saturday 28, 2013 to Tuesday 1, October 2013.
The four -day festival which will be climaxed with COPAL Cocoa Day on Tuesday 1,October, 2013 is aimed at providing opportunity to Cocoa Processors, Manufacturers, Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), input suppliers, financial institutions and all major stakeholders to showcase their products and services. The fair will feature exhibitions, fun games, lectures, cocoa recipe competition, among others.
Mr Amenyah told journalists in Accra in yesterday that the 2013 cocoa festival would start today Friday 27, September 2013 with a float through some principal streets of Accra, while on Saturday 28, September 2013, there would be health walk which starts State House-the venue of the festival to an undisclosed principal streets in Accra.
Other activities of the festival are: health screening \blood donation (Osu Presby SHS); opening ceremony of Cocoa fair (Forecourt of State House); fair opens, family day, Recipe contest five polytechnics; and Copal Day Durbar at the Forecourt of the State House.