The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah has emphasised government’s commitment to boost the capacity of existing companies in the country to ensure long term growth and the creation and maintaining of existing jobs.
Mr. Ahenkorah revealed that the government has initiated a programme that will enable struggling companies request for aid to revamp their operations.
He expressed these thoughts in an interview on the side-lines of a familiarisation tour by the Board of COCOBOD led by its chairman Hackman Owusu Agyeman and some directors of COCOBOD to some cocoa processing companies in the free-zones enclave.
He said the government stimulus package will be made available to Cocoa Processing Company.
“We are going to have a look at their plight. They have put a few questions to the fore, I will see how we can assist. On the hand the ministry of trade as one of our strategy has a national industrial revitalisation plan which is in short form called the stimulus package. I am going to ask them to apply for stimulus and see if we can use them to hold them up”.
Mr Ahenkorah also affirmed his optimism that the Cocoa companies with the kind of interventions government intends to make in the industry, will improve their operations and maximise returns to positively affect the economy.
The tour by the board saw them visit five cocoa processing companies.
These companies are Touton Negoce International, Niche Cocoa Industry Limited, B.D Associates, Cargill Ghana Ltd., Barry-Callebaut Ghana Ltd., and Cocoa Processing Company of Ghana.
The familiarisation tour was aimed at knowing first-hand the challenges that these processing companies go through with their operations so as to properly tailor policies and initiatives to adequately address them.
Cost of energy, lack of regular supply of cocoa beans and high cost of financing were the main issues bothering the cocoa processing industries visited.
Chairman of the board, Hackman Owusu Agyeman reiterated government’s commitment to the private sector and also assured of continuous support for the cocoa industry to improve its operations.
The companies were delighted at the visit indicating this was the first time that the board of COCOBOD had embarked on such an endeavour.