The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) has re-echoed the need for the establishment of a fund dubbed “Tetteh Quarshie Research and Development Fund’’ to encourage research and innovation as a further boost to immortalizing the memory of Tetteh Quarshie, the man who is widely credited for introducing cocoa to Ghana from Fernando-Po now Equatorial Guinea and sustain Ghana`s competitive advantage in the global market.
The fund when established is expected to support research from the country`s universities to explore innovative ways of promoting cocoa, agriculture development and business growth.
Dr Kwesi Dartey-Baah, a lecturer at the UGBS made the call during the 3rd Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Lecture held on the theme: “Ghana`s Cocoa Facts of The Value Chain’’ at the university of Ghana in Accra.
Dr Dartey-Baah who is the chairman of the 3rd Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Lecture Planning Committee underscored the need for Ghana to position itself to enable her maintain competitive gain in the cocoa production value chain through research in the midst of economic challenges.
“In the midst of recent global economic and climate challenges, there is the need for Ghana to strategically maintain its competitive advantage in the production of the best quality of cocoa beans.
This cannot be achieved without scientific enquiry and research into the use of modern technology and equipment that would enhance the production of the crop and the value chain’’. He stated.
According to the September 2013, Ghana Statistical Service Report on Development and Progress, Agriculture`s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined from 22.7% in 2012 to 21.3% in 2013 and registered the lowest growth of 3.4% in the same year lower than the service and industry sectors respectively.
The setting up of the Fund he noted would serve as a motivation to the youth especially those in tertiary institutions to develop interest in the promotion of cocoa production and the development of agriculture in general.
The memorial lecture was delivered by the Deputy Chief Executive in Charge of Operations of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr James Kofi Kutsoati who stated that the cocoa sub-sector alone accounts for 2.5% of Ghana`s GDP an supports the multi-billion global cocoa industry which consists of chocolate and confectionary industries.
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