Saturday, February 4, 2023
Saturday, February 4, 2023

Mondelez International builds West African biggest Soap Factory in Western North region

A $1.5 million soap processing factory was built over five years by over 9,000 members of the Bia West Cocoa Farmers Union with the help of Mondelez International.

The facility, which is located in Essam, will give association members in the Western North Region’s Bia West District access to a different source of income.

A total of 5 tons of solid and liquid soaps made from cocoa husks are anticipated to be produced in the factory’s first phase, while potassium carbonate, a material essential to the pharmaceutical sector, would be processed in the second phase.
The company’s operations are predicted to generate 350 direct and indirect jobs.

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At a ceremony to commission the project, the Head of the Cocoa Health & Extension Division, Rev. Edwin Afari, spoke to a durbar of farmers on behalf of the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board.
He praised the leadership and members of the Bia West Cooperative for their decision to look into a sustainable source of income for the association and said the initiative is worth imitating by other farmer cooperatives.

To improve the factory’s operations, he said that the Board was prepared to work with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) to give technical and scientific support.

Rev. Afari asserted that the revenues from the sale of cocoa are insufficient to help farmers invest in their farms to increase yield and added that the factory that makes soap will generate a steady additional income to help the cooperative’s collective efforts.

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He promised that the Board will improve all of the programmes for increasing productivity, and he pleaded with the farmers to lend their unwavering support by exchanging their first-hand knowledge of the benefits of doing so with other farmers.

He issued a warning to anyone smuggling cocoa beans into the nearby nation of Cote D’Ivoire, telling them to stop or face the consequences.

Alhaji Adama Issah (Chairman of the Bia West Cocoa Farmers Cooperative)

Alhaji Adama Issah, the chairman of the Bia West Cocoa Farmers Cooperative, stated that the cooperative initially had just 250 members but has since grown to 9,908 members.

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Alhaji Issah praised Mondelez International for helping the cooperative throughout the years with various projects and for supporting the group’s aim for building the facility.

He stated, “We are proud of the devotion of the members and the efforts of the contractors. This project is in fact a solid source of additional revenue for our members.

The first phase of the factory’s production, he said, would be dedicated to the creation of liquid and solid natural soaps.

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He said the second phase will concentrate on the manufacturing of organic potassium carbonate, while the third step would examine the creation of toothpaste and organic fertilizer.

To increase yields, ensure community development, environmental sustainability, youth participation, women’s employment, and financial empowerment, he stated, the organization’s goal was to mobilize farmers in the district to work together toward attaining this goal.

Mrs. Yaa Peprah Amekudzi (Country Director of Mondelez International)

Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Country Director of Mondelez International, praised the zeal, sacrifice, passion, and enthusiasm that the cooperative members demonstrated toward the project in a brief statement. She urged other Cocoa Life Cooperatives throughout the country to launch more substantial income-driven self-help projects using their premium.

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To improve the condition of cocoa producers, Mrs. Amekudzi pledged that her organization would continue to promote projects that create new sources of income and increase yields.

Nana Ofori Ahenkan II, (Krontihene of Sefwi Wiawso and Chief of Sefwi Bonzain)

In his closing remarks, the event’s chairman, Nana Ofori Ahenkan II, Krontihene of Sefwi Wiawso, gave the factory’s management advice on how to keep the firm viable for many years.

“The lack of maintenance culture is our nation’s worst problem. Several once-thriving factories in this nation have collapsed due to this syndrome. Throw out the notion that we should not continue to operate this factory for prosperity, he said.

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The Bia West DCE, the Bia West MP, a representative of the Ghana Cooperative Society regional office, the cooperative’s registrar, representatives of the Asamankese Cocoa Life Cooperative, World Vision representatives, a representative of the factory’s contractor, representatives from Republic Bank, and COCOBOD employees from the region all sent messages of support.

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