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Ghana’s fine flavour cocoa variety to harness growth

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CocoaThe country’s Fine Flavour Cocoa Project expects to harness growth in demand and help create a business model that is both commercially viable and has developmental benefits for smallholder farmers.

The model is based on the concept that diversity is an innovative approach that complements other efforts to increase productivity and crop diversity on West African farms.

The improved cocoa flavour variety is disease-resistant and was developed in Ghana with support from foreign partners.

Dr Gilbert Kwapong, Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute, said this when a four- member US delegation from Hershey Company from North America paid a working visit to the management of the Institute in the Eastern Region and the Cocoa Marketing Company in Tema.

The visit was to have an insight of the Institute’s operations as well as interact with management on emerging issues in the cocoa industry.

He said though the Fine flavour cocoa variety requires different agronomic practices, it harvests high premiums on the world market, and would be a vehicle for farmers to build business skills through direct market relationships.

Dr Kwapong said his outfit had worked with 38 farmers in the Offinso District and had provided them with the cocoa fine flavour variety for planting.

He said the project which started five years ago currently has seven bags of cocoa ready for export to the US market.

Dr Kwapong said the Institute was established in 1938 with the objective to undertake, promote and encourage scientific research aimed at improving the quality of cocoa, coffee, shea nut and other tropical crops.

He said the Institute is structured on a multi-disciplinary system and collaborates with both local and international organisations for smooth and effective operations.

Dr Kwapong said the Institute has distributed 50 million seedlings to farmers to improve its operations, provided technical advice to farmers as well interacted with them on their grievances.

The Institute has also spearheaded the development and production of by-products such as body cream, soap and other liquid products, from waste of its products.

Mr Tim Wasielewski, Head of the US delegation and Senior Director at Milton Hershey School, thanked Ghana Cocoa Board for the warm hospitality adding that the partnership would strengthen the existing mutual relationship between the two countries.

He said the delegation on Tuesday August 26, visited cocoa farmers in Assin Sienchem in the Central Region to interact with them on their operations and would again visit Ghana in 2016 with students of Milton Hershey School, to study issues in the cocoa sector.

Source: GNA

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