The Acting Managing Director of the Quality Control Company (QCT), Mr Gokeh Sekyim has advised Licenses Buying Company (LBC) of the Ghana Cocoa Board to purchase good quality cocoa from the farmers for the country to maintain its high premium on the world market.
He urged the LBC to educate cocoa farmers to use recommended pesticides and fertilizers to eliminate pesticide residue facing the cocoa industry.
Mr Sekyim was addressing a three-day training conference on the theme, “Creating Value for Ghana Cocoa”, for over 90 Managers of Olam Ghana Limited, a license cocoa buying company at Bunso.
He called on all stakeholders in the cocoa industry including farmers, researchers, agriculture inputs dealers, cocoa haulers, Quality Control Company and the LBC to contribute their quota for the country to achieve it’s target of one million metric tons of cocoa by the year 2012.
The Acting Managing Director said quality had been the hallmark of the country’s cocoa on the international market, and this should be managed and preserved for the success of the cocoa industry.
He advised the LBC to provide the requisite logistic such as society sheds of adequate capacity, weighing scales, tarpaulins and sufficient gratings to marketing clerks, to avoid negative consequences on the management of cocoa quality.
The Managing Director of OLAM, Ghana, Mr Amit Agrawal said the company had purchase 4,310 million metric tons of cocoa at the cost of 4.3 billion dollars since it started operating in the country 15 years ago.
He said apart from cocoa, OLAM also undertook the marketing and cultivation of cashew, sheanuts, cotton, rice, sugar and palm oil, and had also employed 350 people directly, and many more indirectly throughout the country.
The Managing Director said over 100,000 cocoa farmers sell their produce to the company.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Lower West Akyem, Mrs Gifty Clenam advised the LBC to establish processing factories to enable the country to process 50 per cent of its cocoa production for export.
The Chief of Akyem Tafo, Osabarima Adusei Peasah, IV, urged the LBC to educate and assist the youth to go into cocoa cultivation to increase the country’s production.
He said the Bunso Cocoa College will be turn into an Agriculture and Environmental University in October this year to train more people in agriculture and the environmental sector.
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