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18.07.2005 Business & Finance

Research into the cause of cocoa purple beans

GNA

Kumasi, July 18, GNA - Nana Kwadwo Appiah-Kubi, Chairman of Kuapa Kokoo, a licensed Cocoa Buying Company (LBC), has called on the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) to take up the challenge of carrying out more thorough research to determine the actual cause of the purple beans to save the cocoa industry.

He pointed out that the purple bean problem had become a major threat to the continued operation of the buying companies. "A number of the LBCs had already suffered huge financial losses and if this is allowed to persist for the next five or six years, I am afraid, many of us would be out of business. We certainly, are going to fold up."

Nana Appiah-Kubi was addressing the closing ceremony of a two-day training workshop designed to assist and strengthen the viability of Kuapa-Kokoo, as a farmers' co-operative at the Christian Village in Kumasi.

TWIN, a United Kingdom (UK) Organisation, sponsored the workshop that was run by resource persons from the Co-operative College of Manchester for members of the National Executive Council, Board, Management, Regional Representatives and Research Development Officers of the Company.

The Chairman described as confusing, the present situation in the cocoa industry, where there seemed not to be any agreement as to what was creating the purple bean problem.

Whilst, some are blaming it on improper fermentation of the beans, others are pointing to the hi-tech fertilizers and there were those who thought insecticides used for the cocoa mass spraying was the cause. Nana Appiah-Kubi also called for a rethink of the current arrangement, where the LBCs were made to guarantee the sale of hi-tech fertilizers to farmers on credit and made to pay in the event of default.

He said this had become problematic as some of the beneficiary farmers were not faithful and refused to sell their produce to the companies that guaranteed the credit sale, just to dodge repayment. Nana Appiah-Kubi said out of the 15 billion cedis worth of fertilizers sold to farmers doing business with Kuapa Kokoo, only 100 million cedis had been retrieved and wondered how the Company could raise the difference. 18 July, 05

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