New Edubiase (Ash), Dec. 24, GNA - The increase in the quantity of purple beans among cocoa beans produced in the country is as a result of improper fermentation, Mr Saka Boateng, New Edubiase District Manager of the Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has said.
Mr Boateng, who was speaking at a day's seminar organised by COCOBOD for purchasing clerks of some Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) at New Edubiase in the Adansi South District of Ashanti, asked people not to attribute the increase in the quantity of purple cocoa beans to the mass cocoa spraying exercise and the introduction of hi-tech fertilizer. He explained that the problem of purple beans, which had become pronounced recently and making it impossible for the country to sell some of its cocoa beans in the international market, was caused by some farmers not observing the six to seven days fermentation period and the practice of fermenting the beans in polythene bags, baskets and other containers.
Mr Boateng advised farmers to abide by the six to seven days fermentation period to help to reduce the quantity of purple beans produced.
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 would be caught buying half-dried cocoa beans, would 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.
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.