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23.02.2006 Travel & Tourism

Cocoa could be a major tourism product - Jake

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Accra Feb. 23, GNA - Cocoa has to be promoted as a major tourism product because of the splendid history surrounding its cultivation in Ghana, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, said on Thursday.

He said companies dealing in cocoa products like Cadbury Ghana Limited, the Cocoa Processing Company, Barry Callebalt Ghana Limited and Cocobod among other organisations could benefit a lot from packaging cocoa as a brand for both tourists and locals.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said this when he met with officials from these companies and suggested that restaurant and cocoa dealers came out with recipes that would promote Ghana's cocoa worldwide "Ghana could quadruple cocoa production from existing farms without using extra lands but with available knowledge and skills of cocoa farmers," the Minister said, adding that cocoa farmers could continue to make profit even if world prices fell, when fully supported by the local market.

Arrangement could be made for tourist to visit chocolate producing companies to taste different kinds of recipes made from cocoa. Tourists could also visit the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm at Akropong and learn about how the crop was smuggled from Fernando Po to Ghana. How cocoa farms spread and became a major cash crop. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey pledged the Ministry's full support for cocoa companies if they could take up the challenge to help to market Ghana's cocoa as a tourism product.

"We will do everything we can to support you to enable you benefit from promoting Ghana's cocoa." Mr Morten La Cove Pederson, from Cadbury Ghana Limited, expressed his company's preparedness to support the cocoa industry, saying: "Ghana's chocolate was recognized in many cities in the world especially, London."

He expressed happiness about the cocoa initiative and said cocoa could be used to promote eco-tourism.