Tetteh Quarshie was the Ghanaian farmer directly responsible for the introduction of cocoa into Ghana. He brought some cocoa beans from Equitorial Guinea where he worked as a blacksmith. Although he was uneducated he was well traveled and he envisaged the large scale of cocoa. Other farmers bought pods from his farm and the cultivation spread from his farm in Mampong, Akuapim to all over the Eastern Region and through the Southern Region as well. The first shipment of cocoa from the Gold Coast was made in 1885. Volumes grew rapidly to 20,000 metric tons in 1908. By the early 1920’s Ghana supplied about 40% of the world’s production reaching its peak in the 1930’s. Within ten years production started to decline due to severe outbreaks of capsid pests and the cocoa swollen shoot virus disease.
The quality of cocoa products, primarily cocoa powder is determined by the quality of the raw cocoa. Fully ripened and correctly fermented cocoa beans are brown to a dark red color. This grading system was introduced following the rejection in the United States in 1926 of Gold Coast cocoa. Laws were passed forbidding the importation of cocoa below a specified standard of quality.
The Cocoa Research Institute was established in Tafo in the Eastern Region in 1938. The aim was to investigate problems related to pests and diseases which had considerably reduced the cocoa production. The institute has four main objectives: 1) Provide the farmer with practices and technology in order to realize better yields and higher economic returns under better environmental conditions. 2) Conduct research and develop techniques for the processing of cocoa, coffee, cola, sheanut and cashew. 3) Develop by-products from residue or waste parts of the crops to give farmers more income from their crops. 4) To establish a link between research and the farmer.
We had a great visit to this area with the Browns and the Parkes. Besides being quite interesting it is in a beautiful setting.
|Learning about the different types of cocoa pods.|
The Institute's main achievement has been a hybrid cocoa plant that now bears fruit in only two to three years. The Institute now also researches into coffee, kola, shea and cashew.
|A forest of cocoa trees.|
|Elder Parke, Barry and Elder Brown|
|Tiny cocoa pods.|
|Growing cocoa pods and new little blossoms.|
|The white membrane around the cocoa bean is tasty when you suck on it.|
|Cocoa processing explained.|
|The dried pods can be used as feed for cattle.|
|Cocoa beans dry in the sun and ferment. The smell is strong.|
|A cola plant. I didn't know there was one.|
|If it's raining the beans can dry in this shelter.|
|With Sister Parke and Sister Brown.|
|Ripening Coffee beans.|