Cocoa Value Chain Analyst, Mr. Eliseus Opoku-Boamah

Cocoa Value Chain Analyst says it’s time to intensify the promotion of Cocoa from Ghana and to increase and sustain the consumption of cocoa products in Ghana.

Eliseus Opoku-Boamah said this can be addressed through cultural orientation, habits, tastes, developing food recipes containing cocoa products in our meals, and demystifying the idea that chocolate and cocoa products are luxury products.

He said chocolate and cocoa products must be affordable for ordinary Ghanaian citizens with a low-income level.

“Initiatives like the National Cocoa Day, Cocoa week celebration and free cocoa drink program under the school feeding program by government of Ghana for primary students must be intensified and expanded possibly to secondary and tertiary students.

“Research has shown that consuming cocoa products with high cocoa content has health benefits which include the ability to lower blood pressure, prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and aids in weight management,” he said.

The Cocoa Value Chain Analyst made these observations in an interview with JoyNews on Ghana’s cocoa sector and the 2022 Cocoa Week celebration.

Mr Opoku-Boamah indicated that citizens need more education on consuming cocoa products’ nutritional and health benefits.

“Domestic artisanal processors have not been motivated and incentivised enough to increase local production of cocoa products”.

The value addition and benefits it brings on the economy, which includes job creation along the entire cocoa value chain and productivity improvement which will lead to income generation, livelihoods and community development of producers must be enhanced,” he added.

When asked, how can we sustain national cocoa consumption in Ghana and change the narrative?

The Cocoa Value Chain Analyst indicated that we must prioritise the consumption of cocoa products at national level and at all state functions to replace the sharing of toffees with cocoa products locally made and institute cocoa breaks instead of coffee breaks.

“Government must help intensify all government and private initiatives on the need to consume cocoa products”. This will bring back the focus, revive the attention and whip up the consumption of cocoa products.

Government must provide special tax packages to local and artisanal processors of cocoa products to increase the production and supply of cocoa products. This may drive the prices of such products down and make it affordable for the ordinary Ghanaian to afford,” he added.

Meanwhile, the 2022 National Cocoa Week celebration has been launched at Mampong in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

The event held on the theme: “Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy, Grow Ghana”, with the sub-theme: “Our Chocolate, Our Health, Our Wealth”, will be a week-long celebration, starting from February 12 to 22.

It aims to promote domestic consumption of locally made chocolate and other cocoa products, as it highlights the nutritional and health benefits of consuming cocoa products and the economic and wealth creation potential of the cocoa value chain.

The programme is the initiative of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).

As part of the event, there will also be a cocoa health walk, float, donation, durbar and exhibition, movie premiere, among others.

Ghana is the second world’s largest cocoa producer, and according to the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana produced about one million tons of cocoa during the 2020/21 crop season.

Despite the relative improvement in Ghana’s quest to become a cocoa consumption nation, its current per capita cocoa consumption, which hovers around 0.55 kilogramme, is still nowhere near what exists in Europe and America, the primary consumers of Ghana’s cocoa beans.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.