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24.12.2004 Regional News

Don't associate mass spraying with purple beans -Manager

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New Edubiase (Ash), Dec. 24, GNA - Mr Saka Boateng, New Edubiase District Manager of the Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has asked people not to associate the mass cocoa spraying exercise with the cocoa purple beans, which has become a threat to the nation's cocoa industry.

He made it clear that, the cocoa purple beans problem has been there since time immemorial but that it was now that it had come to the fore and was getting out of hands.

Mr Boateng said this on Wednesday, when the COCOBOD organised a day's seminar for purchasing clerks of some Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) at New Edubiase in the Adansi South District of Ashanti. He stated that it was wrong for anybody to attribute the mass cocoa spraying and hi-tech fertiliser application to the emergence of the purple beans this year.

The District Manager attributed the main cause of the purple beans to the inadequate fermentation of the cocoa beans. Mr Boateng advised farmers to abide by the six to seven days fermentation process to help reduce the high rate of purple beans in the cocoa industry.

He said the six days fermentation adds value to the cocoa beans, adding that, it was illegal to either sell or purchase half dried cocoa beans and warned that, any purchasing clerk, who will be caught buying half dried cocoa beans will be severely dealt with. Mr Boateng therefore, appealed to the cocoa purchasing clerks in the area to allow the farmers to dry the beans well before purchasing them.

He also expressed concern about the behaviour of some farmers, who were using polythene bags, cane baskets and other containers to ferment their cocoa beans.

Mr P.K. Sarpong, Manager of SEDCO, a cocoa buying company at New Edubiase, said the problem could only be solved if farmers changed their negative behaviour towards the fermentation procedure.

He urged traditional and religious leaders in the district to assist the COCOBOD to embark on educational programmes on the purple beans to save the country from losing foreign exchange earning.

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