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Eat cocoa products to boost immune system to fight coronavirus – COCOBOD CEO

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo has entreated Ghanaians to consume more chocolate and other cocoa products daily since they contained antioxidants to fight the coronavirus disease.

According to him, this will boost their immune system to withstand the infectious disease.

Mr Boahen stated that research into nutritional and health benefits of cocoa has revealed that it contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants that could fortify one’s immune system to resist the damaging effects of COVID-19.

Additionally, he said eating cocoa could boost one’s blood circulation, brainpower and enhance general wellbeing of the body.

Mr Aidoo made the call during the launch of the 2021 National Chocolate Week in Accra, on the theme ‘Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy and Grow Ghana’.

This year’s National Chocolate Week would be marked from February 8-14, to create public awareness on the need for people to consume more cocoa products daily in order to boost their health.

The Chocolate Week was first celebrated in February 2005, to replace Valentine’s Day, aimed at whipping up national enthusiasm for chocolate consumption.

Mr Aidoo noted that the country’s per capita consumption was 0.53 kilogram, which was far below the consumption rate in Europe and Americas that hovered around 6.6-kilogram per capita consumption.

He stated that the nation needed to step up its per capita consumption of chocolate and other cocoa products locally, to boost the national economy and reduce the export of raw cocoa beans for processing.

The COCOBOD CEO indicated that Ghana currently processes 40% of its raw cocoa beans locally, and government had set a target to process at least 50% of its cocoa beans locally.

Mr Aidoo expressed the government’s commitment to provide incentives to local artisanal chocolate makers and manufacturers to boost production of innovative cocoa products.

Nana Agyenim Boateng, the Managing Director of Cocoa Processing Company, in an address, gave the assurance that the company would involve the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Food and Drugs Authority in the week’s celebration, to aid the dissemination of relevant information and health benefits of chocolate and other cocoa products to the public.

He said it would make sure there were sufficient cocoa products to celebrate the Week.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister-designate for Information, who represented the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, assured the government’s commitment to supporting cocoa farmers and local chocolate manufacturers to produce more innovative cocoa product for export.

A representative from the private sector (Cocoa Value Addition), Nana Aduna II asked that the cocoa sector be properly defined in the ‘One District, One Factory’ programme.

“We have the excellent raw materials and it’s imperative that we focus on developing value addition in the cocoa sector,” he said.

Nana Aduna II said over-reliance on exporting raw beans and relying on foreign companies to add value to Ghana’s cocoa must change.

“We have the ability and expertise to do it ourselves,” he stressed.

“Ghana could earn 20 times of what it’s making right now from cocoa. Focus on value addition and let’s have our products priced well on bigger marketing platforms to help improve the cocoa sector,” he said.

Source: thefinderonline.com

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