Cocoa: Ivory Coast to grind 1m tonnes by 2022

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Top cocoa producer Ivory Coast plans to grind 50 percent of its current output locally which would be 1 million tonnes by 2022.

This was boosted by fiscal measures and incentives given to companies in the sector, the deputy head of the Coffee Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board said.

According to CCC deputy head Yao N’goran,  Ivory Coast has an installed grinding capacity of 712,000 tonnes. Increasing that capacity and new grinding units will enable it to reach the target within the next four years

The government agreed a convention with multinational companies in the sector including Cargill, Olam and Barry Callebaut in 2017, in which the companies agreed to increase their bean grinding by 7.5 percent each, so as to benefit from the government incentives.

A new target

Mariam Kone, executive secretary of the GEPEX, a lobby representing multinational cocoa exporters and grinders, said nearly all companies had signed the convention.

Kone added that for the target to be reached, it was necessary for the government to give additional incentives.“The Cocoa Coffee Council had promised to pay back our excess electricity costs after power prices were increased inconsiderately a few years ago, so far, we are still waiting for it,” Kone said.

According Ivorian cocoa grinders, energy costs, the cost of importing machinery, and getting qualified plant maintenance specialists, are factors that make local grinding less attractive compared with options outside Ivory Coast.

“I think it can be done by 2022, but we will need more tax and other incentives.The cost of energy remains a negative factor compared with western countries, so there are efforts to be made on that side,” Loic Biardeau, Barry Callebaut managing director in Ivory Coast said.