The Research Department of Quality Control Company Limited (QCC) on Friday held it’s Annual Open Day, with a call on research officials to maintain the high quality of Ghana’s cocoa.
Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Agronomy and Quality Control Division of COCOBOD, who made the call in a keynote address, urged research officials to remain dedicated to their responsibilities in order for Ghana to meet the demands of the expanding global cocoa trade.
The theme for the Open Gay was: “The Role of the Research Department in QCC in the Emerging Global Food Trade”.
Dr Adu-Ampomah pointed out that, in spite of liberalizing the internal marketing of cocoa, Ghana’s cocoa had been the benchmark for quality in international cocoa trade.
He indicated that quality standards had been modified to include issues like Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of Pesticides, while Mycotoxins in cocoa had also gained more attention internationally.
Dr Adu-Ampomah noted that, to swiftly address the concerns of its internal and external buyers, his outfit had acquired adequate grader sorter equipment to address the problem of marketing uniformly sized beans.
The equipment, he said, had been dispatched to the regions, and would be operational by the beginning of the 2009/2010 crop year.
He further stated that COCOBOD had equipped QCC Research Department with Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometers, and high performance Liquid Chromatograph, among other equipment.
This, he said, would enable the Department to take over the Pesticide Residue Analysis, which was currently done by the Ghana Standards Board.
Dr William Azalekor, Acting Head of the Research Department, in a welcome address, stated that it had been the pre-occupation of his outfit to assist the various stakeholders in the cocoa industry with the latest technology to enable them to produce high quality cocoa beans.
Dr Azakelor said the theme for the Open Day was chosen to articulate the importance of research in propelling the cocoa industry.
He observed that, environmental and health concerns had become the key factors driving trade across the globe, adding that, more emphasis was being placed on both extrinsic and intrinsic cocoa quality parameters, due to the consumer sophistication and growing knowledge in health issues.
He tasked the various units in his department to collectively ensure the constant improvement and maintenance in the quality of Ghana’s cocoa beans as well as other crops like shea and cashew nuts.
He said the department was also into the research of copra quality checks, hidden infestation checks on straw beds and others, adding that, it would begin conducting quality checks on maize, cowpea, rice and other food crops.
Dr Azakelor pleaded with management of COCOBOD to expedite action on the process of accrediting the department internationally for its research findings to become globally acceptable.
Presentations at the symposium included “QCC’s Participation in the Global Cocoa Trade;” “The Screening of Organophosphate, Organoclorine and Synthetic Pyrethroid Pesticides Residues in Cocoa Beans prior to Export”.
Others were: “Improving the Quality of Fermented Cocoa Beans by the Use of Starter Cultures;” “Efficacy of Aluminium Phosphide Powder as Rodenticide;” and “Relationships between Residual Anthocyanin Content and Occurrence of Purple Beans in Different Cultivars of Cocoa grown in Ghana”.
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