In a move that looks like the revival of the pre-colonial cocoa wonder in the south-Western part of the country, the newly revivified Osun State Cocoa Processing Factory has achieved a daily 20,000 tonnes of cocoa processing.
The company which was established in 1982, stopped production in 2001 as a result of obsolete equipment and management related issues.
In 2015, the state government secured investments from two Chinese companies, Skyron Corporation and Golden Monkey Group of Company which led to the resuscitation of the industry.
Osun state’s Commissioner for Industries, Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr Ismail Alagbada disclosed that the company now process about 20,000 tonnes of cocoa on a daily basis. He further stated that the state government is looking towards adding value to the product instead of exporting it raw to overseas.
“At present, the company is processing 20,000 tonnes of cocoa into cocoa liquor for both local and international consumption, thus increasing the production capacity of the company by 400 percent from 2001 period.”
“The revival of the CPI is part of the realisation of the industrialisation plan of the current administration, to put the company into effective use for optimum performance.”
The commissioner further explained the current ownership structure of the company and the resolve of the government to ensure other associated cottage industries are developed through adding value to the raw cocoa produce.
“Through this partnership, many people in Osun will learn the trade of cocoa processing. The possibilities are just endless. At least, now, our people know that more value accrues to them if they process cocoa rather than exporting in its raw form.”
“The company will soon begin the production of cocoa powder and cocoa cake, stressing that no fewer than 200 employments have been generated since the revival of the industry.”
Alagbada stated that more workers would still be recruited as the expansion of the company was being carried out.
“Going by the new arrangement, the state government owned 30 percent equity, which gives it a 30 percent revenue derivable from all resources and funds generated in the plant.”