Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo has urged Ghanaians to consume cocoa products in order to boost the local cocoa industry.
Speaking at the 2020 Ghana Cocoa Awards held in Accra on Saturday, he said, the consumption of Ghanaian cocoa products would not only reduce the exportation of most of Ghana’s cocoa but ensure that young people gain the health benefits of consuming cocoa products.
Mr Aidoo who was the 2019 Cocoa Personality of the Year added that, Ghanaian companies would expand if guaranteed of local consumption across the country which would eventually boost the economy.
“With a population of over 29 million, and the youth forming the majority, cocoa products must be consumed here to not only boost local production,” he stated.
The cocoa industry, he added had huge prospects as efforts were being put in place to ensure Ghana produced three million metric tonnes of cocoa annually.
“Now we are doing vertical production where 40 bags of cocoa can be produced in an acre of land with over 2000 pods of cocoa registered on one tree. Meaning farmers would not require large acres of land to produce cocoa,” he stated.
He congratulated winners of this year’s Ghana Cocoa Awards for their performance and efforts in ensuring a vibrant cocoa industry.
This year’s event, the second edition, saw the CEO for Ecom Ghana, Mr Rahul Gopinath adjudged Cocoa Personality of the Year.
Mr Gopinath who also won the CEO of the Year, beat stiff competition from Head of Cocoa Life Ghana, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi to win the ultimate award on the night.
Madam Amekudzi won the Sustainability Personality of the Year award while Cocoa Life Ghana was also adjudged Sustainability Initiative of the Year.
Other awards on the night, included Entrepreneur of the Year which went to Michael Zormelo of Omnifert Limited with the Outstanding Contribution of the Year won by Robert Austin, Country Director, Meda Ghana.
In all, 30 awards were presented to companies and individuals as well as 12 special awards for personalities and institutions.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant reiterated that Ghana needed to do more as far as the consumption of cocoa was concerned despite being a global leader in production.
“Ghana exported a total number of 13.4 million worth of chocolate and other products containing cocoa to the world with Nigeria remaining the highest consumer of Ghanaian chocolate,” he stated.
The founder of the Ghana Cocoa Awards, Mr Kojo Hayford expressed gratitude to companies and individuals who supported in ensuring a successful second edition of the awards.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE