The newly resuscitated Osun State Cocoa Processing Industry in Ede has started processing cocoa in line with the industrialisation plan of the current administration in the state.
The company, which was inaugurated on October 17, 1982, had stopped production in 2001 due to obsolete equipment and management issues.
The Commissioner for Industries, Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment in the state, Mr. Ismail Alagbada, however, said the company was now processing 20,000 tonnes of cocoa on a daily basis.
He stated that the Aregbesola administration in partnership with Golden Monkey of China revived the company and brought it back to start production.
This, he said, was meant to ensure that it started adding value to cocoa instead of exporting it overseas in its raw form.
The commissioner said, “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 per cent 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 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 explained that more workers would still be recruited as expansion of the company was being carried out.
He disclosed further that going by the new arrangement, the state government owned 30 per cent equity, which gives it a 30 per cent revenue derivable from all resources and funds generated in the plant.
“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,” he added.