Processing strategies for niche markets: Toward a ‘triple helix’ model for cocoa processing in Liberia

January 10, 2023
This policy brief addresses the extent to which actors in Liberia’s cocoa industry can develop and execute a tree-to-bar strategy. It is derived from the 2022 study Regional Collaboration on Overcoming Binding Constraints on the Growth of Liberia’s Cocoa Value Chain, produced by ACET with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a subsequent policy dialogue with stakeholders in Liberia’s cocoa industry.
Key Messages
  • Currently, Liberia’s cocoa sector is geared toward the export of raw cocoa beans with little focus on quality and value addition, leading to minimal value capture.
  • Chocolate manufacturing is an emerging sector in Liberia and offers opportunity. While participating in global markets is the ultimate objective, the domestic market offers a good
    place to start, as Liberia already imports about US$2 million in chocolates.
  • Regional markets are also important. Small business chocolatiers could take advantage of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to boost production and exports.
  • The emerging chocolate industry would benefit from deliberate government intervention in all aspects of the supply chain to help small chocolate makers better compete in domestic and global markets.
  • To drive innovation, development, and growth of small businesses, Liberia’s chocolate industry should look toward a “triplex helix” partnership model.
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