The Cocoa Board of Ghana, Africa’s second-largest cocoa exporter (after Ivory Coast) has turned to China’s Eximbank for a $1.5 billion financing program to help expand its cocoa industry. The Board needs the funding to increase its processing capacity, to improve its cocoa farms and fix irrigation systems and other projects to aid cocoa production.
The funding would help the Board meet its 2020 production and processing target of a million tonnes of cocoa. The Chinese bank have already invested in a $35 million, 40,000-tonnes cocoa processing plant. Ghana is looking to expand its cocoa industry but finds that many projects need support - diseased and aged trees need to be replanted, irrigation systems need to be set up, warehouses and cocoa roads need to be built.
VenturesAfrica reports that Ghana produces an average of 800,000 tonnes of beans per year, with plans to reach 1 million tonnes by 2020. The country presently only processes about 250,000 tonnes of its production. The Eximbank one of three banks China uses to support other developing countries with concessional funding for major projects. An important channel through which China increases its influence on the African continent.
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