Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has inaugurated a nine-member Governing Board for the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), with the task to help transform the company into a viable and profitable enterprise.
They should also work to support government’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
The Minister said there were already signals that the company had begun the process of turning its fortunes from a heavily loss-making entity to a vibrant one.
Dr Afriyie Akoto, who was speaking after administering the official oath and oath of secrecy, stated that, it was the policy of government to encourage and facilitate enhanced local processing of cocoa to generate income and create jobs.
“The essence of CPC is to be part of government’s transformation agenda in the shortest possible time for the benefit of the people especially value chain actors, by helping improve livelihoods” he emphasised.
The Minister expressed optimism that the management of the company, with the support of the highly qualified and capable board, would help the organisation to realise its goals.
He commended the Mr Joe Forson, the Managing Director of CPC, for leading and instituting rigorous measures aimed at turning around the fortunes of the company, saying “I have great faith that with the support of the board he will succeed.”
Mr Kwaku Owusu Baah, Chairman of the Governing Board on behalf of members pledged to work diligently to ensure the sustenance of the cocoa sector and its critical contribution to the livelihood of people.
He assured that they would support the growth of the company with their experience and professionalism to achieve the mandate of the state enterprise.
Mr Baah recalled that CPC was in dire distress when the former board took over, however the pursuit of strategic policy interventions was yielding desired results.
“At the close of the 2019 financial year, we had reduced company annual losses by a whopping 70 per cent, from US$10 million to about US$3 million and but for the COVID pandemic that disrupted our markets in 2020, we would have made profit for the first time in two decades. But we haven't given up, especially as the markets begin to pick up again,” he said.
Mr Baah said with old dilapidated machinery and equipment, the company had expanded production at the confectionery section from four per cent to 15 per cent of company's total annual production.
He said the company would soon begin the construction of a biomass; which when completed, would reduce its energy and fuel bill from US$6 million to about a US$1.5 million or 75 per cent per annum.
Mr Baah said the overall improved performance of CPC had attracted attention of two renowned international financial institutions who were working to fund and re-tool the machinery and equipment and provide working capital to ensure uninterrupted beans supplies for operations.
He stated that the company was developing new markets, both locally and internationally and that preliminary discussions with representatives of important organizations from Rwanda, Angola, Kenya, the United States of America, among others, had been positive.
The members of the Board are Nana Agyenim Boateng I, Mr Francis Manu-Adabor, Mrs Philomena Okyere, Mr Emanuel Ray Ankrah, Mr Vincent Okyere Akomeah, Madam Alexander Gloria Totoe, Mr Theodore Matey Tackey and Professor Douglas Boateng.