GTA orgainses float to mark ‘National Chocolate Day’

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) says it is working assiduously to increase the consumption of cocoa to boast economic growth.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations, GTA, Mr Ekow Sampson, said this in Accra yesterday during a float to mark this year’s National Chocolate Day.

This year’s event, themed “Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy, Grow Ghana” and a sub-theme, “Our Chocolate, Our Health, Our Wealth”, aims to promote the consumption of Ghanaian chocolate and an increase in domestic tourism.

The day was instituted in 2005 by the Ministry of Tourism to promote the consumption of chocolate on Valentine’s Day and change the widely held perception of the promotion of immoral conducts among the youth.

To mark the day, the authority in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) embarked on a float on the principal streets of Accra to sensitise the public on the importance of cocoa consumption.

Mr Sampson said currently, the consumption of cocoa was 0.5 per cent and the intention was to increase it to 1.5 per cent.

He said to achieve the target, GTA would partner relevant stakeholders to intensify awareness creation on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa, which was the main ingredient of making chocolate, in a bid to increase local production and consumption.

“By the close of the year, we should be able to get about 1.5 per cent. So as we intensify the awareness and the COCOBOD make available the raw materials to the factories, we are going to increase production,” he added.

He stated that the awareness would not only be limited to the urban areas but would be extended to cocoa producing areas and other rural areas where the cocoa was produced in quantity.

He touted the benefits of eating cocoa products, especially chocolate and said it had proven to be rich in nutrients and for that matter the need for every Ghanaian to cultivate the habit of cocoa consumption to boost their immune system.

He on called on the hospitality industry to promote cocoa products in order to have more consumption among Ghanaians and foreigners.

As part of the programme, cocoa products were exhibited and the importance of cocoa were made known to the public.

The public took advantage to buy cocoa products and also learn the various uses and benefits of cocoa.

Mr Mubarak, community relations officer for Fairafric Ghana Limited, who had his product exhibited expressed shock at the rate at which the public had patronised this year’s cocoa products as compared to last year.

He said “I am shocked to tell you that as we came here this morning, people were already waiting for us to purchase the products.”

A public worker who spoke in an interview with the Ghanaian Times said “I prefer the locally made chocolates for Valentine’s Day because it is rich in cocoa but the foreign ones are a bit creamier you do not really get the richness of the cocoa,”

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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