With China venturing into cocoa production, Ghanaian journalist based in the country (China), Kwabena Amofa Ababio says the initiative is real and the world superpower has the economic resolution to overtake Ghana in the production of the cash crop.
Kwabena Amofa believes Ghana might be able to compete with China if she moves from the conventional methods of cocoa production and processing.
“The China cocoa is real and because of their economic resolution, they can overtake us in cocoa production.
If the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) does not sit up and keep using our old ways of growing and processing cocoa, then we are in for trouble. China will overtake us in the production of cocoa”, he opined.
According to him whilst Ghana still relies on “man power” and low standards for cultivating its cocoa, “the Chinese will cultivate the same cocoa with the support of highly skilled agricultural scientists and their quality will be better than Ghana’s”, he predicted.
With China having a large population, the journalist insists they (China) can produce cocoa in large quantities, process the beans into finished products and consume them locally. “They’ll even make more revenue than Ghana which largely exports the raw cocoa beans for little.
COCOBOD shouldn’t downplay the capabilities of the Chinese. They want to use the Hainan province as a hub for cocoa cultivation and overtake us”, he reiterated in an interview with Don Kwabena Prah on Happy 98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.
The journalist assured it was possible for the quality of China’s cocoa to even surpass Ghana’s if their breakthrough leads to mass production. “The have the support of the nation.
Back in the day we claimed anything from China is fake but it is a lie. Ghanaians can be in the country and say our cocoa is of high quality. But the Chinese can standardize their cocoa production and Africa will end up consuming finished cocoa products from China”.
The Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) revealed that South China’s island province of Hainan exported cocoa beans to Belgium for the first time.
The batch of cocoa is reported to have been produced in Xinglong, a township of Hainan with a tropical climate.
Hao Zhaoyun, a researcher with CATAS is on record to have stated that “Cocoa is a raw material for making chocolate. With the increasing demand for chocolates, Hainan has been expanding its cocoa planting area and making breakthroughs in technological development”.
“As Belgium is dubbed ‘kingdom of chocolates,’ exports to the country indicate that our cocoa production standards have been recognized by the international community,” he added.