Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, says his next government will build cocoa processing factories in cocoa growing areas in the country.

It forms part of a policy to transform the cocoa industry he describes as ‘ailing’.

Mr. Mahama believes processing of cocoa beans will increase earnings from the cultivation of cocoa.

“We want to build factories in cocoa growing areas. The white man is able to earn more than five times of our earnings after processing the cocoa”, he said.

The final town hall meeting in the Western North Region was held in the Bia East District.

Meanwhile, concerns of cocoa farmers have characterised various town hall meetings in the cocoa growing area.

Cocoa farming is a major employer and major contributor to the country’s economy.

According to John Mahama, the government has struggled to secure a syndicated loan of 800 million dollars for the industry.

The inability of the Produce Buying Company to function effectively under the present government is a worry for the former President.

“From the days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Produce Buying Company has been working. In my time as President, the company did well. They were making profit. Now, workers have not been paid for six months. It should tell you that the company has collapsed. Others are buying the cocoa beans as I speak but PBC isn’t able to buy”, he said.

Mr. Mahama further said, “when we were in power, PBC was buying it’s own trucks but today the trucks are not working. We will revive the industry” he added.

Details of policies suggested on the tour are expected to be captured in the party’s manifesto for the 2024 elections.