By CHRISTOPHER JATOR, Cameroon Tribune, 13-04-2014
The market for chocolates and other food products based on cocoa powder, such as chocolate flavored drinks, desserts and sweets, is growing. Availability of raw material and good market prospects make investment in a cocoa bean processing unit a profitable venture. It is in this line that nationals are becoming interested in investing in the processing of cocoa.
Another cocoa processing plant, beside SIC Cacaos, was launched in Douala over the week-end. The Minister of Industries, Mine and Technological Development, Emmanuel Bonde, in the presence of the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Yaouba Abdoulaye, launched the new Cocoa Processing Unit at its site in Bonaberi on Saturday, April 12. Minister Bonde noted that cocoa in the raw form is not consumable and in the economic sense it has no value. In order to make cocoa consumable and valuable it has to undergo different stages of processing.
The Promoter of the Cocoa Processing Unit, Noha Mesaca, said the structure will produce 6,904 tons of labelled products, process 16,000 tons of cocoa beans per year into three main components: cocoa liquor (6,400 tons), cocoa butter (3,000 tons) and cocoa powder (3,300 tons). These components can be sold to confectionery and sweet makers to make chocolate, cosmetic products such as moisturising creams and soaps, or chocolate spreads and sauces, cakes, biscuits, and chocolate flavoured drinks and desserts such as ice cream and mousse.
The vision is to enter the second generation agriculture phase that government has in place. Since the creation of government’s “Agropole Programme” in October 2012, 16 projects at the cost of FCFA 9.874 billion have gone operational. These include the production of 2,928,000 chicken, 34,800 pigs, 1,800 tons of fish, 251,250,000 table eggs, 3,500 tons of paddy rice, 17,099 tons of corn, 8,000 tons of soja and 26,000 tons of pineapple. The Cocoa Processing Plant is just another effort within the framework of the programme to boost satisfy local food demands.