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04.09.2003 General News

Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm to be made tourist site

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Mampong-Akwapim (E/R), Sept. 4, GNA - The small Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm in the Mampong-Akwapim North District would soon be developed into a tourist attraction with the establishment of a museum and visitor reception facilities.

Announcing this on Wednesday, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the capital city said it was sad that 124 years since the farm was cultivated, very little had been done to preserve it.

"The farm though symbolic in terms of its contribution to the country's agricultural achievement, we as a people seem to have taken what God has given us for granted because the way it is now, reflects our little attention to maintenance and preservative culture".

The Minister said this when he paid a three-day working visit to some tourist sites in the Eastern Region.

"Knowing the significance and the much good the farm has brought to us we should be having more today than just the picture of Tetteh Quarshie and the sign post in the farm", he said.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said there was the need to develop the area and make the farm a tourist site through the setting up of a museum where the full history of Tetteh Quarshie and the place must be documented for tourists to generate some revenue for the community.

He said government, through the collaboration of the chiefs and the District Assembly in the area, would work together to develop the place to attract both local and international tourist to the area.

Nana Otupebi IV, Mampong-Hene expressed satisfaction about the idea and pledged the people's support, saying "we are even ready now because we have apportioned a plot of land to develop the place".

He said at present, both local and international tourists were visiting the farm occasionally without any fee mainly because the farm has not been turned into a tourist site.

"We can only start earning some income if the road that leads to the farm is constructed for us and some visitor's reception facility built here for the visitors," the Mampong-Hene said.

Nana Otupebi IV called for the construction of a toilet facility in the area and said this would help the estimated 500 European tourists who would be visiting the farm by the end of the year.

He announced that a waterfall had been discovered in the area with a unique feature of refraction to throw out rainbow colours at times and called on the Tourism Ministry to assist to develop the place.

At Larteh-Akwapim, the Minister visited the Akonedi Shrine believed to be the house of truth for the people of Larteh and a cultural library where information about the shrine could be sourced as well as the history of Larteh.

Mr Obestebi-Lamptey told the people that the fame of the shrine had spread worldwide. It had become a major tourist site and this has been made possible because of their genuine hospitality and respect for their cultural heritage.

He urged them to always hold on to their hospitality and uphold their cultural values because it was the only way that tourists could become attached to the area and assist them to develop the District. Osaberema Asiedu Okoo III, Paramount Chief of Larteh, described the Minister's visit as unique because it was the first time in the history of the district that a Minister was selling the idea of tourism to the people at the grassroots.

According to him, if this should continue to other Districts and Regions, the vision of the Ministry to generate about 1.5 billion dollars from tourism in 2007 would be achieved.

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