Although there has been a noticeable increase in the consumption of cocoa in Ghana as a result of various cocoa consumption campaigns by the government, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and its stakeholders, the actual consumption level in Ghana is still only a small fraction of that of countries in Europe and other parts of the world.
This means that there is still a major untapped opportunity to increase local consumption through efforts to create and increase awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa and its regular intake.
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said this on Monday 1st July 2019, when he launched the 2019 Cocoa Consumption Campaign by the 2018/19 group of the National Service Personnel Association of COCOBOD (NASPAC) at the Cocoa House in Accra.
Scientific research into the properties of cocoa and its effects on the human body have long found that, regular consumers of cocoa and cocoa products derive serval health benefits from the product.
These include, improvements in blood flow to the brain, boosting brain function; it helps reduce the growth of plaque and prevents tooth decay in children and adults; tryptophan in cocoa facilitates a positive mood, keeps the individual happy and relieves stress; and the presence of a high percentage of antioxidant named flavonoids in cocoa helps improve cardiovascular health in children and adults.
In his address to the National Service Personnel, Hon Boahen Aidoo, said that national is very much appreciative of their efforts and those of their colleagues who came before them. The Cocoa Consumption Campaign, which was introduced some 2 years ago, has significantly helped Ghanaians to appreciate cocoa as a healthy food.
He observed that the per capita consumption of cocoa which hitherto stood at 0.5kg has improved to about 0.52kg as a result of the support stakeholders have given to the campaign.
Hon Aidoo, however, thought that the situation where a producing country like Ghana has a lower consumption rate as compared to some countries in Europe which have between 5kg-11kg per capita consumption should be improved upon. He called on all to cultivate the habit of consuming cocoa.
‘Ghana as a cocoa producing country consumes less; we produce for other countries to consume and take advantage of the countless health benefits of cocoa. It is about time we as Ghanaians consumed more of our cocoa’.
He further stated that COCOBOD will support every effort aimed at ensuring that the Board’s policy of achieving the processing of at least 50% of the cocoa produced annually in Ghana is met.
In a solidarity message, the Deputy Chief Executive of the National Service Scheme, Dr. Gifty Oware Aboagye lauded the 2019 NASPAC group and their predecessors for the support they have given to the cocoa consumption drive of the Board over the years and advised the personnel to also consider seizing the business opportunities in the drive to make a good living after their Service. Dr. Oware Aboagye encouraged the service personnel to embark upon the outreach with zeal and passion.
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Kwasi Agyemang also used the opportunity to outline some activities his outfit had adopted to promote tourism through cocoa. He said his outfit has been encouraging the hospitality industry to consider serving cocoa as part of their menu and endorsed the use of ‘Cocoa Break” on corporate meetings and other gatherings instead of ‘Tea/Coffee Breaks” in a move to encourage cocoa consumption.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Cocoa Processing Company, Nana Agyenim Boateng said CPC is poised to make cocoa products available on the market for consumption. He observed that over the past few years that the NASPAC joined CPC to create awareness on their products especially the Royale Cocoa Powder, sales had been high and other products too are on high demand.
He assured the NASPAC of his outfit’s support in logistics to make the campaign a success.
Meanwhile, for the past two years, National Service Personnel Association of COCOBOD (NASPAC) has been embarking on annual outreach to the central business district of Accra and its environs in support of the Cocoa Consumption Campaign of the Board. The initiative has helped to increase awareness on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa among Ghanaians.
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