Ghana: Construction of Cocoa Flavour Lab, Quality Training Centre Underway At Tafo

Tafo — A sod cutting ceremony has been performed for the construction of an ultra-modern cocoa flavour laboratory and quality training centre at Tafo in the Eastern Region. The facility, which cost about U$169,491.82 and funded by Ezaki Glico Company Limited, a mother company of TCHO Ventures, a chocolate producing company in Japan, is expected to be completed in six months. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Chief Executive Offier (CEO) of COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Agyeman Dwomoh, who read a speech on behalf of the CEO, noted that analysis at various institutions and laboratories across the world had confirmed that the country had the best premium quality cocoa beans, hence the need to protect such important heritage. The facility, he said, would house a sensory evaluation and bean laboratory as well as a quality training centre for training of cocoa farmers, COCOBOD staff and stakeholders along the cocoa value chain. Dr Dwomoh said the ultimate goal of the construction of the flavour laboratory and quality training centre was to enhance research into bean quality and to build the capacity of all stakeholders along the value chain. He was glad about the project, stating that it would enhance research into flavour and bean quality to develop improved varieties with unique and diverse flavour profiles for the niche markets. Dr Dwomoh stated that government was committed to ensuring that cocoa farming became more profitable and attractive to cocoa farmers and the youth, adding that it had rolled out several significant interventions and policies to meet the industry's needs. "Apart from the flavour laboratory to be constructed, plans are underway to put up another laboratory complex with the state-of-the-art facility within this premises," he revealed, and called on CRIG to do its part to scientifically and environmentally safeguard the production and sustainability of Ghana's cocoa industry. For his part, the Executive Director for Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Dr Isaac Yaw Opoku explained that one key challenge facing the institute was the inadequate laboratory space and modern equipment to facilitate research. He said the construction of the flavour laboratory would help partly to address the challenge, hoping that the kind gesture of the donors would enhance cooperation between his outfit and the donors. Mr Opoku said that CRIG has benefitted a lot from TCHO's support and collaboration since 2013, adding that apart from the construction of the flavour laboratory, they had also donated equipment and consumables and trained their technicians in and outside the country, and was grateful to them. The Chief Chocolate Maker of TCHO Venture Mr Brad Kintzer, who spoke on behalf of his CEO and management, explained that it was important to have good tools and equipment to produce quality cocoa beans, adding that his outfit was glad to collaborate with CRIG and would continue to build relationship with them to help achieve such quality cocoa beans.

Source: All Africa

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