The cocoa industry in Sierra Leone is set to benefit from accelerated sustainable growth after the Government met with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other private investors in a two-day workshop.

The workshop was focused on productivity, certification, and improving on a set of recommendations.

The Senior Country Manager for IFC in Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Kalim Shah said that the true potential of the cocoa industry can only be achieved through active participation between the private and public institutes together with a “coordinated policy and regulatory environment.”

He added that his institution has a team in the country to help study the industry and map out loopholes that they and other stakeholders can render their support.

Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Theresa Tenneh Dick said that the Government has developed a Cocoa policy that is intended to help bridge the gap between present performance and maximization of potential.

She added that the policy has revealed that the industry has the potential to be transformed into an economically viable one.

The growth of the Cocoa industry has been at a snail’s pace despite the involvement of many farmers over the years.

However, the country saw its first cocoa factory open in Kenema in 2021. The factory is said to be able to process over 4,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per year.