21th November, 2012
STAKEHOLDERS CHARGED TO MAINTAIN GHANA'S COCOA PREMIUM
Prof. Kwadwo Asenso Okyere, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and Director of Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute, (IFPRI) has called on Ghanaians and other stakeholders to maintain the Ghana's premium of cocoa.
He said that the premium of Ghana's cocoa depends on its quality produced and noted that it is very prudent for stakeholders to monitor the quality of cocoa in order to enhance proper sustainability process.
He noted that the hallmark of high quality cocoa requires cocoa beans to be fermented, thoroughly dried, free from smoky beans, devoid of abnormal and foreign odors and keep them free evidence of adulteration to meet the expected international certification standard.
Prof. Asenso-Okyere gave this advice in Accra during a Two-Day National Stakeholders conference organized by Solidaridad a Global Network Organization to set a platform for Stakeholders to dialogue on good agronomic practices and other sustainability practices.
Touching on cocoa production, the former Vice-Chancellor envisaged that cocoa consumption will shoot up in the near future and called on all cocoa producing countries to increase their production level to close the demand gap.
Mr. Vincent Frimpong Manu, the Country Manager of Solidaridad explained that conference will bring to fore thematic areas such as sustainability quality, international certification requirements, labour issues and other issues bordering on public and private enterprises.
In a presentation made on behalf of the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, the Executive Director of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit (CSSVD-CU) Very Rev. Kweku Abaka Ewusi said COCOBOD have implemented policies and interventions such as national cocoa rehabilitation project, mass spraying exercise, the adoption of good agronomic practices which have contributed immensely towards increased and sustainable yield.