Cocoa seedlings to be preserve against pests, diseases

Business News of Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Cocoa Farmer2

A one-million pound specialist facility has been established at Reading University in the United Kingdom (UK) to protect and preserve over 400 different species of the cocoa plant. The facility has become necessary in view of anticipated world cocoa shortage.

The International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC) at Reading in the UK will be responsible for collecting cocoa seeds and facilitating research into breeding cocoa plant varieties that will be more resistant to disease.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Kumasi, following a visit by two Ghanaians, Messrs Appiah Kwarteng, Secretary of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, and Emmanuel Arthur, Managing Director of the farmers union, to the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC).

The two representatives of Kuapa Kokoo were in the UK for a meeting of the board of Divine Chocolate, a chocolate company belonging to Kuapa Kokoo, and spent time with Dr Andrew Raymond, Director of the ICQC programme, and Michelle End of the Cocoa Research Association. According to the statement received by the Daily Graphic, cocoa seedlings would be quarantined in ICQC greenhouses and grown in sand, gravel or liquid without soil and be maintained in a condition that would protect them from diseases and pests.

Cocoa plants from the centre will be supplied to farmers in Ghana, and other major cocoa-producing countries, as well as some emerging cocoa producers such as Vietnam, the statement said.

Dr Raymond said the visit provided a nice opportunity to explain the work that was being done at the University of Reading to Ghanaian cocoa farmers and for them to learn more about the projects that Kuapa Kokoo was involved in.

Messrs Appiah Kwarteng and Emmanuel Arthur expressed admiration for the project.