Africa needs to focus on agro-industrialisation of cocoa

Cocoa BeansAfrica aims to get a good hold of the international market share of chocolate production. (Image source: Nestle/Flickr)Africa needs to focus on improving its agro-industrialisation, which is important to transforming the cocoa value chain, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB)

In spite of producing almost 75 per cent of the world’s cocoa, Africa gets only five per cent of the US$100bn annual chocolate market value, said the bank.

“Africa has been unable to extract a larger share of the global chocolate market value because it exports just raw cocoa beans,” said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB.

The demand for chocolate is most likely continue to increase around the world, according to experts. There brings a big opportunity for Africa, one of the largest producers of cocoa in the world, to rake in economic value that the global market offers.

Therefore, Adesina has stressed the need to boost Africa agro-industrialisation to get a good hold of the international chocolate market share. The AfDB has prioritised industrialisation in its High 5 agenda. This could create an opportunity for African countries to add value to their raw materials. It is this regard that the bank’s Annual Meetings for this year has the theme ‘Accelerating Africa’s Industrialisation.’

This year’s Easter celebration signals a further call to action for African cocoa producers to start producing chocolate to compete with countries like Belgium, Switzerland, the US and France. This will not only bring in money, but also afford opportunities for the many cocoa farmers in Africa who are yet to taste chocolate in their entire life.

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