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13.01.2005 Regional News

Educate farmers on purple beans - PBC Manager

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Hohoe, Jan 13, GNA - The Volta Regional Manager of the Produce Buying Company (PBC) has called on the Cocoa Research Institute and the Quality Control Board of the Ghana Cocoa Board to collaborate with the various cocoa buying agencies to educate farmers on the effects of purple beans on the industry.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Hohoe on Wednesday, Mr Kwasi Bediako-Addey said the appearance of the purple beans in the cocoa industry was tarnishing the image of the country known for its quality cocoa beans in the world.

He called on the authorities to find a quick solution to the problem, which the Regional Manager attributed to the activities of selfish farmers who failed to ferment their cocoa beans for a reasonable period before drying.

Mr Bediako-Addey also blamed smugglers who "invaded" cocoa producing areas along the country's borders with buckets and measuring cans to buy non-fermented cocoa beans from farmers.

"Some disgruntled farmers along our borders sell their raw cocoa beans to these smugglers for quick money and so disregard the need to ferment their cocoa beans, dry them on mat before they sell to buying companies," he said.

Mr Bediako-Addey also urged the government to re-introduce the military cocoa task force to curb smuggling of cocoa along the borders. He said the PBC had started an educational programme on the purple beans and expressed the hope that the other buying companies would join the crusade.

"I have been able to educate farmers at Dainkope, Ashanti-Kpoeta and Mensahkrom in the northern, southern and central sectors of the cocoa growing areas of the Region respectively on the effects of the purple beans on the cocoa industry, " he said.

He commended the government for introducing the cocoa spraying and the high technology programme to boost up the industry.

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