The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has underlined the need to aggressively push towards adding more value to the nation’s cocoa. This, he said, was necessary to assure both the farmers and the state of reasonably good returns.
He was speaking, when the Management of the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) paid a courtesy call on him at his Manhyia Palace in Kumasi. Otumfuo Osei Tutu urged a scale up of the effort to increase local processing of the beans and consumption of cocoa products.
One way of doing this, he said, was to include cocoa products in the menu of the school feeding programme.
The Asantehene indicated that the health benefits for the school children would be enormous. The advocacy to get more Ghanaians to develop strong taste for cocoa products comes amid a tumble of the price of the commodity – the mainstay of the economy on the international market.
It is estimated that less than 0.5 per cent of the country’s annual cocoa production is consumed locally, something seen as “too low”. The King counseled the CPC management to adopt best practices to enable the company to efficiently – optimally operate so that there would be returns on investment.
It should see to it that the demands of consumers were met, he added. Dr. Frank Asante, Managing Director of the Company, appealed to the Asantehene to back the campaign to encourage consumption of cocoa products.
He spoke of the training of people to make chocolate products on their own to help boost production and consumption.