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Johnvents Industries Limited, a Nigerian agribusiness firm, has commissioned its upgraded US$36mn cocoa processing plant in Akure, Ondo State
The factory is fully automated with a processing capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes of raw cocoa, crushing it into cocoa liquor, butter, cake and powder for both local and international market.
Reports by Vanguard said the facility will generate about 300 direct jobs and over 17,000 indirect opportunities. Its inauguration will also help Nigeria in fetching higher value from the cash crop.
With a cumulative cocoa volume production of only about 245,000 tonnes, 90% of Nigeria’a cocoa is exported as beans.
John Alamu, group managing director of CapitalSage, the holding company of Johnvents Industries said, “Johnvents Cocoa Processing Factory will crush these cocoa beans into cocoa liquor, butter, cake, and powder, for internal consumption and export into other markets across Europe, Asia and America, thereby increasing the country’s foreign exchange earnings.”
He informed that it will also be a big player in job creation through 300 direct jobs and over 17,000 indirect jobs for Ondo State indigenes and Nigerians across the country. This will help the country further tap into the multi-billion-dollar cocoa sector, while pushing for more local consumption.
Most cocoa produced in West Africa is largely sold as a raw commodity, with the producing countries retaining only a small proportion of the global cocoa market’s value, which garnered US$12.87mn in 2019, and is estimated to generate US$15.50bn by 2027, manifesting a CAGR of 4.3% from 2021 to 2027, according to a report published by Allied Market Research.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone recently welcomed its first cocoa processing unit with an annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of cocoa paste.
The factory is built and run by Capitol Foods, one of the country’s leading agribusiness companies.