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July 06, 2008

Ghana cocoa production more than doubles in eight years

Isaac Osei, Chief Executive of Ghana's COCOBOD, recently said the country's cocoa production shot up from 300,000 tonnes to over 700,000 tonnes within eight years.He urged the institute to let farmers have better understanding of the use of pesticides and fertilizers and adopt recommended agronomic, fermentation and drying practices to meet the quality expected by the markets.

He said this was achieved as a result of implementation of good policies and it is expected that by 2010 cocoa production will reach one million tonnes a year.

Mr Osei said this when he launched the 70th anniversary celebration of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana in Koforidua. He said backed by harmonious policies from government and COCOBOD a lot of scientific research results had gone into comprehensive programmes such as COPAPEC and High-tech leading to good results in the cocoa industry.

Mr Baah Wiredu said the country is faced with the problem of pesticides residues, polycyclic aromatic hydro carbons contained in beans drying on the tarmac or over wood fires which apparently are harmful to human health.

He said there was also the question of Ochratoxin in cocoa beans with its potentially carcinogenic effect, adding that more research development and education was required to reduce to the barest minimum the effects of those factors.

Yadu Ampomah, Executive Director of CRIG said the vision of the institute is that by 2010 the Ghana cocoa industry and that of the other mandated crops would be research-driven and commercially viable. "At least 1,000,000 tonnes of cocoa will be produced annually, of which, at least, 40 percent will be processed in Ghana".

The Statesman

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