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The Senior Public Affairs Manager of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Fiifi Boafo, has called on the culinary sector to explore cocoa recipes to maximize its use in homes.
This will help inculcate the habit of cocoa consumption, in various forms, in the young and become a major driver for the campaign to make Ghana a major cocoa consuming economy; in addition to being an important producer of cocoa beans.
Mr Boafo was speaking at the Grand National Finals of the ONGA Cook Art 2021, which was organised by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for senior high schools. This year’s competition was the third edition in as many years.
GES says the competition helps to promote vocational education and culture for national development. COCOBOD has also been associated with the competition as it provides a platform to promote the use of cocoa as a food ingredient.
“Whatever you come up with this afternoon could become the blueprint for a cocoa or chocolate product that will also put Ghana on the global map,” Mr Boafo said. “We must relish the chocolate we make and invite all visitors to enjoy our chocolate when in Ghana.”
He added that aside from the culinary sector, there are potentials and opportunities within the cocoa industry for everyone to explore and take advantage of, based on their skill set; to turn around the fortunes of the country.
Ghana’s cocoa industry belongs to all Ghanaians, he stated. “We need to have a workforce trained in all the services within the value chain, such as, warehousing, chocolate and other cocoa products manufacturing, packaging, wholesale and retail and other logistical services that generate revenue within the cocoa sector.”
He cited the Addison sisters, makers of ‘57 Chocolate’, and members of the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana as examples of entrepreneurs who are getting recognition in Ghana and around the world for their resolve to transform Ghana’s cocoa and chocolate business.
Mr Boafo gave the assurance that COCOBOD will support entrepreneurs with ideas and business which add value and improve current practices in the cocoa industry. “I can on behalf of the management of COCOBOD promise you the fullest cooperation when one comes up with any such intervention.”
“Presently, COCOBOD is working closely with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Tourism Authority, and other stakeholders to provide funding, training opportunities and technical support for individuals and organisations who desire to go into cocoa processing,” he disclosed.
At the end of the competition, the team from Akwamuman Senior High School beat four other competing schools to emerge as this year’s Culinary Champions. They won GH¢15,000 from GES and products from sponsors.
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