Ghana underutilising health benefits of cocoa – Mrs Gyasi-Afriyie

Mavic Gyasi-Afriyie

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has welcomed the strategic collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in a bid to project the health and economic benefits of cocoa-based food products.

“More often than not we seem to gloss over the potentials of cocoa, however, emerging research has brought to the fore the multiplying advantages the nation can derive by promoting the product as food and for economic purposes,” Mrs Mavic Gyasi-Afriyie, the Ashanti Regional GTA Manager, said.

She said in the wake of the increasing reported cases of high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, as well as bronchial asthma and neurodegenerative diseases amongst the populace, the consumption of cocoa-related food products presented the best opportunity to overcome those threats.

Mrs Gyasi-Afriyie, briefing the media in Kumasi on measures being taken by the GTA, in collaboration with the COCOBOD, to promote the cocoa production renaissance in the region, said the Authority was committed to sustaining the momentum.

“The Ashanti Region produces a chunk of the national annual cocoa production output, and so would want to take a strong lead in the quest to make Ghana a cocoa consuming nation,” she said.

The Regional GTA Office has been meeting stakeholders in recent times, including religious bodies, to sensitise them on the need to consume cocoa-based food products for their wellbeing.

In the recently-held National Chocolate Week, for instance, the GTA officials visited the Ahodwo Mosque and Nazareth Methodist Church, Dakodwom in Kumasi, to distribute boxes of chocolate to the people.

The officials also set up the ‘Kumasi Chocolate City’ at the Jubilee Park, where various activities were undertaken to create awareness on the importance of cocoa-based food products.

Mrs Gyasi-Afriyie said taking cocoa as a meal on regular basis helped to reduce the risk of cancer and improve cardiovascular as well as brain health, adding that the GTA had resolved to use the product in advancing tourism.

She hinted that the global cocoa processing market produced about 4.5 million tonnes in 2020, and is forecast to reach 4.76 million tonnes by 2025.

“Our aim as an Authority is to work with COCOBOD to take full advantage of this forecast by developing the cocoa value-chain to create jobs and wealth for the people,” she told the Ghana News Agency.

Nana Matthew Osei Prempeh, a GTA Official, said there was no better time to promote domestic tourism than the present era, when the industry was fast establishing itself as one of the lucrative sectors of the global economy.

The Regional GTA Office, he said, would not relent in enforcing standards in service delivery by the various tourist attraction sites as well as the hospitality facilities to ensure value for money.

He urged operators of tourist attraction sites to enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols to the letter to protect workers, visitors and tourists.

Source: GNA

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