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General News of Thursday, 31 May 2007

Source: GNA

Members of Cocoa Foundation visits Ghana

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Accra, May 31, GNA- Members of the Cocoa Foundation, a global body that deals in the processing, manufacturing and trading of cocoa has paid a maiden visit to Ghana to understudy the handling of the country's major cash crop.

The 66-member foundation, on a five-day visit to Ghana had toured some major cocoa growing areas and interacted with the farmers. Mr Isaac Osei, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), who led the delegation to the Osu Castle to call on Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, said the members have been exposed to the handling of the cocoa beans and quality control.

The President of the Foundation, Mr. Bill Guyton, told the Vice President that the delegation were in the country to pursue the vision of cocoa sustainability and how best to share expertise to improve on the production of the bean.

Vice President Mahama said it was a scientific fact that Ghana's cocoa was the best in the world.

He stressed: "We produce the best cocoa beans in the world. I am not boasting. When you talk about cocoa, you are talking about Ghana. Cocoa takes a central stage in the country's economy." Vice President Mahama noted that Ghana stands by quality, while efforts are being made to reduce the risk attached to the crop production.

He dismissed global concern that Ghana was using child labour to produce the crop, explaining that the introduction of child friendly policies such as school feeding programme and the capitation grant implied that the country was serious about the proper upbringing of children.

Vice President Mahama appealed to members of the foundation to be partners with Cocobod to ensure quality in the production and processing of cocoa.

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