A group photograph of COCOBOD management and the CCAJ executives

A DELEGATION from the Cocoa Chocolate Association of Japan (CCAJ) led by Kenji Kaminaga, its vice president, has advised management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to ensure that cocoa beans exported to Japan from Ghana were free of chemical residue.

The delegation was in Ghana recently to discuss issues of mutual concern bordering on the use of agro-chemicals for cocoa production and its shipment from Ghana to Japan.

According to Mr Kaminaga, the Japanese government was very keen on the levels of chemical residue present in all food materials entering that country.

?COCOBOD must ensure that chemicals with active ingredients such as fenvalerate, endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, pirimiphos-methyl and profenofos are not found in the cocoa beans.?

He however expressed his appreciation to COCOBOD for its continuous support for the growth of Japan?s chocolate industry.

Tony Fofie, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, reacting to the warning said his outfit had been educating farmers to use only chemicals approved by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) on their cocoa farms to avoid a probable rejection of cocoa beans by overseas buyers.

Lamenting the difficulty involved in monitoring the number of smallholder farmers that make up Ghana?s cocoa industry, Mr. Fofie stated that compared to owners of large plantations, it was more difficult to control them.

He said COCOBOD would continuously explore ways of monitoring the efficient use of chemicals on cocoa farms to reduce the incidence of chemical residue in Ghana?s cocoa.

Mr. Fofie also expressed optimism that the numerous practical agronomic measures being implemented by COCOBOD will help the country to continue to meet global required standards.

The two organisations deliberated on how best to test the cocoa beans at the exit ports to ensure quality and prompt shipment to Japan.

The association indicated plans to send in an expert to help the Quality Control Company of COCOBOD to sharpen its skills for testing chemical residue.

By Samuel Boadi

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