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06.08.2005 Regional News

Cocoa farmers in Assin area, urged to ensure

GNA

top quality beans

Assin Foso, (C/R) Aug. 5 GNA- As part of the measures to maintain Ghana's top quality grade of cocoa beans, the Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Cocobod, on Thursday, held separate durbars in the Assin area to educate farmers about the appropriate ways of handling the beans to prevent their turning purple, and unsuitable for export.

The durbars were held for farmers within the Bereku, Assin Foso and Manso cocoa district of the Central Region at Assin Bereku and Assin Foso, as well as officials of Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) in the area.

In an address, Mr. Lockhart Peprah, regional QCD manager said that although it is the determination of the country to regain her position as a leading cocoa producing country, there was the need to guard against exporting low quality grade cocoa that would make her lose her reputation as the best quality cocoa producer.

The durbars, he stressed, were therefore geared towards brining them abreast of the appropriate maintenance regimes, methods of harvesting, fermenting, drying and storage, so as to produce top quality grade cocoa.

He deplored the fact that some farmers had taken advantage of the presence of competitive buyers in their localities to sell undried or bad quality cocoa beans, which invariably turn purple. Mr. Peter Tandoh, deputy regional manager, took them through the ideal cultural practices for quality cocoa production, and through the approved periods of fermentation and the correct ways of drying the beans.

Mr. Kwasi Ofori, Bereku district Cocoa/Coffee/Sheanut chief farmer gave the assurance that the executives of the association would team up with the LBCs to educate all cocoa growing societies in the area.

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