Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has promised to initiate a programme that will ensure every student receives free chocolate or cocoa products every day.
He said the decision is tied with the government’s plans of boosting the local consumption of cocoa products from the world’s second largest producer of the cash crop.
“Our target is to provide every Ghanaian student with a bar of chocolate or cocoa beverage each day whilst in school … [Government agencies] are to ensure the sustained provision of cocoa beverages and chocolates to school children from primary school to secondary level,” he was quoted by local media.
President Akufo-Addo said the programme will be launched soon and some cocoa product manufacturing companies have pledged their support already.
He announced the decision at an event celebrating World Cocoa Day and the 70th anniversary of the country’s cocoa pricing company, Ghana Cocoa Board.
Ghana is the second largest exporter of cocoa in the world after neighbouring Ivory Coast. The West African country produced an estimated 909,493 metric tonnes by July, 2017 – biggest harvest in six years.
It is estimated that Africa consumes only 4% of chocolate products from the continent.
Ghana’s Cocoa Processing Company Limited produces the country’s popular Golden Tree chocolates which are on every shelf and sold in the streets in the country.
The company says about 65,000 metric tonnes of premium Ghana cocoa beans are processed at its factories annually.