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The Cocoa Health and Extension Division of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in conjunction with the Quality Control Company in the Akyem Oda Cocoa District, has held a four-day training for 153 farmers’ cooperative society executive on cocoa flavour.
The beneficiary farmers were from Birim South, Birim Central, Akyem Achiase and Asene-Manso-Akroso districts.
The programme was intended to enable the farmers to be appreciate the implications and essence of quality standards in cocoa production.
It was also to equip the farmers with the requisite skills in quality cocoa production to improve or maintain the quality of cocoa beans to satisfy the international consumer market requirement.
Addressing the participants, the Oda District Extension Coordinator of COCOBOD, Mr Francis Eluwekeh, advised farmers not to rely solely on the use of fungicides to control the black pod disease, but to supplement it with cultural methods like sanitary harvesting, pruning and periodic removal of excess branches.
He stressed the need for farmers not to store their cocoa beans in kitchens, saying smoke could contaminate the cocoa flavour.
The Oda District Cocoa Officer, Mr Michael Gyasi, advised the farmers against the overuse of chemicals on their farms, stressing that the practice could negatively affect cocoa quality.
The Oda District Quality Control Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Michael Tweneboah Mensah, enjoined farmers to strive to produce quality cocoa beans to earn extra income for their efforts.
He admonished them to adopt proper fermentation practices by following the right procedure and to also use the appropriate materials on their farms to maintain Ghana’s premium quality cocoa beans.