Accra, The Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Dr. Frank Amoah, has described CRIG as a world class cocoa research centre in Africa that has made giant strides in developing cocoa planting materials to improve production.
Dr. Amoah said this when 56 medical students, who are concurrently training as military officers, from Francophone African countries and nine Ghanaian military personnel, paid a visit to CRIG to learn at first hand the operations of the Institute.
Dr. Amoah said CRIG’s strides in developing Hybrid cocoa was to improve the quality of planting materials to withstand the effects of climate change, improve the socio-economic posture of the farmer, managed pests and diseases, entomology as well as testing and recommending chemicals to be used on cocoa crops.
He noted that CRIG periodically tested fungicides, pesticides and other cocoa inputs from an interval of two to three years to reaffirm their efficacy.
He said this was done to protect farmers and the cocoa crop on the backdrop of the influx of unapproved chemicals on the market, saying regulating the application of chemicals was to check the maximum chemical residue in cocoa beans.
Dr. Amoah further explained that CRIG interfaces with Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD (CHED), Seed Production Division (SPD) and Quality Control Company (QCC).
He said CRIG hands over newly developed breeds (Seedlings) to SPD to multiply them through their seed gardens and nurseries in the quest to improve the cocoa crop.
CRIG has embarked on research and training of cocoa farmers for almost 80 years.
The Research Institute currently boasts of over 40 scientists and has published over 3000 materials. The publications aim to expand knowledge in the dissemination of scientific information on cocoa production.
The visiting students were taken on a tour of CRIG facilitates where they were exposed to processes of fermentation, drying, grading and sealing of cocoa. The students were impressed about the new products developed by CRIG which when fully marketed will inure to the benefit of Ghana.
CRIG is currently working at promoting their new products to businesses for them to buy the technology used in manufacturing the products which can be used to produce on commercial scale.
Source: Ghana News Agency