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Regional News of Saturday, 23 February 2008

Source: GNA

Cocoa farmers urged to ensure beans are properly fermented

Akim Oda (E/R), Feb. 23, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Akim Oda Cocoa District of the Eastern Region, have been advised to ensure proper fermentation of the beans, before they are dried. They should also ensure that the beans were thoroughly dried, to help protect the premium status that the country earned for the exportation of quality cocoa beans. Mr Kwadwo Kyei, a Senior Quality Control Officer of the Akim Oda District of the Quality Control Department of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Akim Oda on Saturday. He noted that 180,345 bags of cocoa were sealed at Akim Oda for the period 2005 and 2006 light crop season, adding this was the highest in the Eastern Region, but expressed regret that there were no grades one or two recorded. Mr Kyei attributed the trend to the incidence of purple colour, which he said emanated from the bad mode of fermentation by the farmers.

"Farmers can only avoid a recurrence, when they ferment the beans very well", he cautioned. The Senior Quality Control Officer explained further that fermentation had to take six days after which the beans would be poured on the drying mat and ensure that they were thoroughly dried before sale. Mr Kyei also advised purchasing clerks (PCs) to work vigorously to ensure that the beans contained no foreign matter like gravels, stones and oranges seeds and peels, before purchasing the beans. He urged PCs to avoid pre-financing the purchase of the beans, since this practice had brought untold hardships to some farmers and clerks.

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