The post-harvest activities of COCOBOD start with quality control measures of QCC. QCC is therefore reponsible for inpsection grading and sealing of cocoa, coffee and sheanut for the local and the international markets. Quality Control Company Limited (QCC) is also responsible disinfestation of produce. Both functions are performed at the up-country and the take-over-centres(TOC). QCC’s up-country activities are made up of two main Sections:
- Inspection Section
- Disinfestation services Section
Both functions are performed for prescribed fees.
The Company deals with Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) and farmers in the cocoa, coffee and sheanut sectors as well as the general public.
Inspection And Certification Of Sheds and Warehouses
The Company is responsible for the inspection and certification of the storage facility of the LBCs. The LBCs are responsible for erecting or locating storage facility for the purchase and storage of cocoa and produce. However, it is the sole responsibility of QCC to inspect such facilities and issue a “Certificate of Registration of premises” for such premises, which are then designated as “Scheduled Grading Centres” No grading and sealing activity is conducted in any storage facility that has not been certified by QCC.
Inspection, Grading and Sealing Of Produce
Inspection, grading and sealing of produce are carried out at scheduled grading centres. Grading begins with “cut-testing analysis”.Any produce which is graded and sealed is covered by a certificate called “Certification of Inspection Produce”.Check-testing which involves selecting at random, some graded produce for examination by the supervisor to confirm the grade of sealed produce. Depending on the percentage of defective beans/nuts, the existing grade of the various products are:
COCOA : Grade I, Grade II, Sub-standard and Cocoa Waste
COFFEE : Type I, Type II, Type III
SHEANUT : Exportable, Non exportable
The following measures are applied to control infestation of produce and warehouses. Spraying of empty sheds/warehouses with approved insecticide to eliminate residual infestation (before the opening of each cocoa crop season and the use of any newly acquired storage facility. Similarly, shipholds/containers are disinfested) Regular insecticidal fogging of sheds stocked with produce to reduce insect population.Fumigation of produce to control all stages of pest infestation. Use of poison bait to control rodents in storage premises.
QCC also offers the following on commercial basis:
Spraying : Applying water-based insecticide using motorized mist blower to target crawling and residual insects.
Fogging : Applying oil based insecticide using thermal swing fog and aimed at flying insects.
Fumigating : Applying gaseous insecticides on produce in an enclosed or gas-tight compartment targeting all stages of the life cycle of insects and other pests.
Poisoned Baiting :Setting baits in the form of poisoned food to kill rodents.
With the exception of Kaase-inland Port and Hohoe Regional Offices which is headed by Deputy Regional Managers all other Regional Offices are headed by Regional Quality Control Managers, assisted by Deputy Regional Quality Control Managers. The Regional Managers serve as a link between the districts and Head Office.
Currently, there are seventy-three (73) Cocoa Districts within which the Company operates. Each District is headed by a District Quality Control Officer (DQCO), who is supported by a number of Assistant Quality Quality Control Officers (AQCOs). The AQCOs conduct inspection, sampling, grading, sealing, certification of cocoa and other produce, as well as the disinfestation of produce and warehouses. In addition, they interact with farmers and educate them on the preparation of good quality produce.
The disinfestations activities which were performed on zonal basis has since 2006/2007 cocoa year been decentralized and being carried out at each district office. These activities are geared towards the control of storage pests to maintain the quality of produce.