Wrong fermentation of cocoa beans causes low grading and sub-standard produce, the Central Regional Chief Cocoa Farmer, Nana Kwesi Offori, has advised colleague farmers in the sub-sector.

He said cocoa farmers must always strive to adhere to the six-day period of fermentation recommended by the Cocoa Resource Institute of Ghana to enable them to produce best cocoa beans for export.

“…wrong fermentation of fresh cocoa beans, produce high percentage of purple beans, which render the beans sub-standard.”

Nana Offori gave the advice when he met 14 Cocoa Purchasing Companies in the Assin Fosu district of the Central Region, after interacting with various cocoa farmers groups in the area on Sunday.

The purchasing companies include Kuapa, Akuafo Adenfo, Biadg Co-operative, Sika Aba, Cocoa Merchant, Adwumapa, Royal Commodities, Anmajaro, Olam Fedeco, Evado.

Nana Offori appealed to managements of the companies to help to educate cocoa farmers on the importance of putting into practice, the skills and knowledge given to them by Extension Officers.

“This will enable them to produce the best cocoa beans to save the industry from collapse.”

He said all was set for the implementation of a Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme before the end of this year. He, therefore, urged companies yet to submit data on their farmers to do so in time.

Nana Offori said it was equally important that farmers personally transported their cocoa beans to the selling centres to avoid being cheated.

This, he said, would enable farmers to benefit fully from packages such as scholarship which is enjoyed by cocoa farmers for selling more beans to the buying company.

Mr Francis Offe-Sakyi, Assin Fosu Quality Control Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, also advised the purchasing companies to desist from adjusting their cocoa weighing scales since it violates the laws and regulations of the industry.

Source: GNA

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