2019 National Chocolate Day launched

Ms Olivia Opoku Adoma launching the chocolate day

Ms Olivia Opoku Adoma launching the chocolate day

The 2019 National Chocolate Day was yesterday launched in Accra to promote the consumption of chocolate in the country.

The day which was instituted in 2015 to coincide with Valentine’s Day which falls on February 14, every year also aims at boosting other cocoa-based product, and promotes domestic tourism.

It brought together stakeholders from all walks of life including the cocoa sector and was on the theme, ‘My chocolate experience’.

Launching the programme, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Catherine Afeku in a speech read on her behalf by Mrs Olivia Opoku Adoma, the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation  of the Ministry said tourism had a lot of gains would lead to the improvement of the economy and cocoa industry.

She said the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), under the auspices of the ministry was leading ‘The year of return 2019 project’ in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, PANAFEST Foundation and Adinkra Group USA to mark 400 years of the first docking of ship and people carried into slavery.

The minister called on stakeholders to partner the GTA to help promote the chocolate day in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Edward Ampofo, the Chief Pharmacist at the Cocoa Clinic, said for the past two years the event focused on domestic cocoa consumption, cooca and chocolate recipe preparations and others have made significant impact on the cocoa economy.

He said for the past two years domestic processing of cocoa had hit 300,000 metric tonnes representing 19 per cent of national output from previous figure of about 252,000 metric tonnes.

‘’Currently local processing  of cocoa is 34 per cent of the total volume of annual cocoa output(averaging 900,000 metric tonnes)an indication that we are making progress,” he added.

He mentioned some of the health benefits of cocoa as dietary anti-oxidants, reduces blood pressure, delays ageing, fighting dental decay, and has aphrodisiac properties.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, stressed the need to focus on the cocoa industry to help promote the economy.

He assured that his outfit would collaborate with stakeholders in the sector to promote the industry.

The Deputy CEO in charge of Operations of COCOBOD, Mr Emmanuel Opoku, urged Ghanaians to consume cocoa to help improve the economy.

He called on the media to collaborate with COCOBOD to sensitise the public on the need to consume cocoa products in the country.

Some of the programmes lined up to commemorate the occasion include health walk, quiz, trip to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Farm, tour to industries, and funfair among others.

By Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi

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