The Minister poses with some of the Chefs who took part in the Chocolate Culnary contest.
The brisk business that characterized the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern region will soon bounce back following plans by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to hand over the facility to a new management, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry, Edwin Owusu-Mensah has disclosed.
The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm, which occupies an area of 0.38 hectares, was established in 1879 but became inactive 10 years ago following poor the management of the facility.
As part of activities marking Ghana’s 50th anniversary in 2007, the government constructed a tourist information centre at the Cocoa farm.
The centre served as a museum where some of the clothing of the late Tetteh Quarshie, the man credited for introducing Cocoa into the Gold Coast (Ghana), his cooking utensils among other things were stored.
The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm, according to the residents of Mampong, attracted a lot of tourists to the place which boosted activities of restaurants, snack shops and carving and weaving centre.
The chief of Mampong, Nana Otu Dartey, the Akuapem Municipal Assembly, Ghana Tourist Board and COCOBOD, do not know the one in possession of the keys to the centre.
Tourists abandoned the Tourist Information Centre barely eight years after its closure.
They argued that the move led to total decline of their businesses.
Mr. Owusu-Mensah, speaking on the issue during the 2016 National Chocolate Day Celebrations dubbed Chocofest and held at West Hill Mall, Weija Accra, mentioned that plans were far advanced to embark on massive renovation and restocking of the facility at Mampong.
He gave assurance that activities at the Information Centre and the Cocoa farm will be normalized following the massive renovation of the place which begins next month.
Giving the background to the celebration of the National Chocolate Day dubbed ‘ChocoFest,’ the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare mentioned that the day was instituted by government to reshape the celebration of Valentine’s Day and promote the consumption of cocoa related products.
The minister reiterated the health and economic benefits of cocoa, adding that it could be consumed by both children and adults.
By Solomon Ofori