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Regional News of Saturday, 16 February 2013

Source: GNA

Develop a world class cocoa museum – Minister

Madam Akua Sena Dansua, out-going Minister of Tourism has called for the need to develop a world class cocoa museum that would help tell the history of Ghana’s cocoa.

Additionally, she said, model cocoa farmers offering rustic accommodation could be developed in partnership with the private sector to offer some variety and local experience to interested visitors.

Madam Dansua made the call when she and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry, joined the management, staff and students of the Mampong-Akuapem Senior High Technical School for the Deaf on Thursday, to celebrate this year’s National Chocolate Day on the theme: “Chocolate, A Healthy Expression of Love” at Mampong.

She said the Ministry, in partnership with COCOBOD, instituted the Day alongside the Valentine Day’s celebrations seven years ago.

The Chocolate Day, she said, was geared at promoting the local consumption of chocolate and other cocoa products; stimulating the packaging of cocoa and its history as a major Ghanaian tourist product; reshaping and adding meaning to the Valentine’s Day celebration in the society.

Madam Dansua said it was gratifying that since the institution of the National Chocolate Day, accommodation and catering establishments have been encouraged to offer chocolate and other cocoa-based recipes at the Valentine Day dinners, with the view to popularizing these recipes as everyday offerings for customers.

She said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Ghana Tourism Authority, had encouraged and facilitated internal cocoa trail tours, during which students from the basic and senior high schools were taken to the Cocoa Research Institute at Tafo, the Tetteh Quarshie Farm at Mampong-Akuapem, and the Cocoa Processing Company’s factories in Tema to gain a full appreciation of cocoa, right from the planting stage to the processing into chocolate.

The out-going Tourism Minister commended the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) for providing some of its healthy lifestyle products towards the celebration of the National Chocolate Day over the years.

Mr Charles Debrah Asante, Manager of CPC, said the company has attained international distinction through the brands of Healthy Lifestyle Products which are distinguished by the trade mark “Golden Tree”.

Mr Asante pledged that the CPC would continue to be an active supporter of the National Chocolate Day celebration in order to help promote the health benefits of the products.

Mr Noah Kwasi Amenyah, Public Affairs Manager of Ghana Cocoa Board, who represented the Chief Executive, pledged the Board’s determination to encourage cocoa farmers to produce quality cocoa beans to attract competitive price on the world market.

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