The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has called for sustained efforts to protect Ghana’s record of the leading producer of premium quality cocoa beans.
Swearing in a five-member board of the Quality Control Company (QCC) Limited, a subsidiary of COCOBOD, Dr Afriyie Akoto said Ghana needed to maintain its status to command a favourable market price for its produce.
“There is a history to why our cocoa beans are the best. It didn’t come by itself. Since the era of the Gold Coast, we have maintained a very consistent practice to make sure our beans have the highest quality possible”.
He lauded the efforts of Ghanaian farmers whose commitment to best practices had ensured the country sustain its quality.
“Our position is recognised by the international market. Because of our high quality, our cocoa is always used as a mixer for producing chocolate to give it the right taste. The demand for Ghana’s cocoa is very high,” he stressed.
Dr Afriyie Akoto urged the board to do more to improve the quality, adding that competition was increasing by the day since technology was making it easier for Ghana’s competitors to achieve the same feat.
To continue commanding good prices on the global market, Dr Afriyie Akoto maintained that volumes of production alone will not increase the bargaining power of cocoa-producing countries if the value is not enhanced.
“In recent years Côte d’Ivoire’s quality of cocoa has been going up because of the adoption of the practices we have in Ghana,” he said charging the board to be motivated to do more to be competitive.
Dr Ebenezer Owusu, the Board Chairman QCC, in his remarks, said the members would stick to the company’s mandate of preventing the exportation of inferior or infested cocoa, coffee, shea nuts and cashew nuts to any destination in the world.
The five-member board include the Board Chair, Dr Ebenezer Owusu – Lecturer & Head of Department of Plant & Environmental Biology, University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Barima Afranie – Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy; University of Ghana; S. B. Kangbere, University of Ghana, Legon; Kwaku Oppong, businessman and representative of Licensed Buying Cocoa Companies and Julius Mark Kodjo Opoku Martinson, Acting Managing Director of Quality Control.