COCOBOD will this year organize a national chocolate fair as part of deliberate effort to promote local consumption of the countryís cocoa.
This has been fixed for September 28 to October 1, to coincide with the annual Copal Cocoa Day celebration.
Mr Anthony Fofie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said Ghanaians needed to appreciate the nutritional and economic benefits that could be derived from increased consumption of cocoa products.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after his meeting with national and regional officers of the Ghana Cocoa Coffee Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA) in Kumasi, he said this could drive up the price of the crop on the international market.
The meeting provided the platform to interact and share with them some of the initiatives they had taken to raise cocoa production and challenges to the achievement of production targets.
Mr Fofie said COCOBOD was ďvery interested in the welfare of farmersĒ and would continue to put in place appropriate strategies and interventions to assist them to increase their output and returns.
It is on the basis of this that they have been supplying them with solar flashlights and street lights, training them on the use of weighing scales and weighing stones, ensuring their strong representation on the various boards under the COCOBOD, provision of vehicles and restoration of subvention to the GCCSFA to run its activities.
Mr Fofie said the annual increases in producer prices and payment of bonuses to farmers are meant to make the farmer happy to sustain the crop production.
He reminded them to adhere to the technical advice by extension officers and to adopt modern farming techniques and practices to boost production.
Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, the National Chief Farmer, thanked COCOBOD for the various interventions, which are impacting positively on the lives of the farmers.
He said the upward adjustment of the producer price of the crop has drastically reduced smuggling of cocoa beans. Again the incidence of child labour in cocoa growing communities is on a downward trend.
Alhaji Bukari expressed worry about reports that cocoa farms are being destroyed to pave way for mining and appealed to the government to take a second look at small scale mining because of the negative effects it could have on the cocoa industry.
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