The US Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Robert P. Jackson with some officials of the US Embassy, took a day off his busy schedule to tour COCOBOD facilities in the Eastern Region to acquaint himself with activities of the cocoa industry.
Accompanied by COCOBOD Management team led by the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Agronomy & Quality Control, Dr. Francis K. Oppong, Ambassador Robert Jackson visited the Tetteh Quarshie and Jubilee Farms at Mampong, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) at Tafo, a Cocoa Farm and Nursery Site at Bunso.
The visit to these areas afforded the US Embassy Delegation the opportunity to learn about Tetteh Quarshie Farm where commercial cocoa farming first started in 1879. At CRIG, they were schooled on some scientific studies being carried out to improve upon cocoa planting materials to increase yield.
Explaining why Ghana’s cocoa has been touted the best quality cocoa in the world, Dr. Francis Kofi Oppong, said quality control measures are strictly ensured at every stage of the entire cocoa value chain. He added that quality planting materials, fertilizers as well as continuous extension services are given to cocoa farmers free of charge to keep them abreast of modern trends in cocoa production.
Dr. Oppong disclosed that through a partnership between TCHO Ventures, a chocolate company in California, USA, USAID and CRIG, the Fine Flavour Laboratory at CRIG has had its status enhanced to produce good quality chocolate. He appreciated the support of the US Government, stating that most of the highly-skilled scientists of the Institute acquired their PhDs from various renowned universities in the US and called for deepening collaboration.
Ambassador Robert Jackson on his part lauded COCOBOD on the numerous efforts undertaken to ensure the sustainability of the country’s major cash crop that remained the mainstay of Ghana’s economy for years. He was thankful for the insightful learning experiences and commended cocoa farmers and staff of COCOBOD for their hard work.