At National Chocolate Week launch: ‘Make cocoa consumption a staple food’

This year’s National Chocolate Week has been launched in AkuapemMampong in the Eastern Region, with a call on Ghanaians to make cocoa consumption a staple food.

The event organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), was on the theme: “Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy, Grow Ghana.”

The day, which falls on February 14, was instituted by the Ministry of Tourism in 2005 in a bid to promote the consumption of Ghanaian chocolate and an increase in domestic tourism.

Speaking at the event yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark OkrakuMantey, in a speech read on behalf of the sector minister said it was important for all Ghanaians to promote the consumption of made- in-Ghana chocolate and cocoa-based products and also position cocoa and the chocolate experience as a strong element of the Ghana tourism experience.

He said the consumption of chocolate locally was largely successful and the National Chocolate Week was an important feature of the tourism calendar of events.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, MrAkwasiAgyemang, appealed to practitioners of the tourism industry to buy locally made products, especially, the soaps that were by-products of cocoa. 

“Let’s promote the consumption of cocoa so that when people come for beverage in the morning, it is not just tea or coffee, but it is cocoa or tea. So that we can get more people consuming cocoa and follow the vision of COCOBOD in ensuring that local production cross the 50 per cent mark,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph BoahenAidoo, said COCBOD had instituted strategies to drastically increase domestic processing and consumption for sustainable economy and strong components of government’s drive for industrialisation.

He said as part of the strategy, they had come up with guidelines to support small scale and artisanal processing and manufacturing at the tertiary level to boost the cocoa processing industry.

The Managing Director of CPC, Nana AgyenimBoateng, said the importance of cocoa and cocoa-based products as an immune booster and as a fortifier against cardiovascular diseases was one that must be continually spread and made known to Ghanaians in order to promote greater consumption.

The Chief of AkuapemMampong, Osabarima Kwame OtuDartey III, commended COCOBOD and GTA for their effort to repackage TettehQuarshie farm into a tourist site.

He appealed to the government to convert the abandoned building near the jubilee farm into a ‘cocoa museum.’

“We also suggest that guest houses are built close to the proposed museum to be used by tourists who may want to spend a night or more at Mampong. We believe this will not only create jobs but also boost economic growth at Mampong,”he added.

FROM VIVIAN ARTHUR, AKUAPEM MAMPONG

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