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Ghana gets only $2bn from $100bn cocoa industry— COCOBOD CEO

Despite producing about 20 per cent of the world’s total cocoa beans, Ghana gets only $2 billion in terms of revenue from the $100 billion cocoa industry, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has disclosed.
This is due to the inability of the country to add value to its cocoa beans, as about 80 per cent of the cocoa produced is exported in its raw form.

“Ghana is the second leading producer of cocoa as we account for roughly 20 per cent of the world cocoa production but the income we get from the entire cocoa value chain which involves production, processing and manufacturing of chocolates is just $2 billion,” he said.

Mr Boahen Aidoo said this when some executive members of the Standard Group visited COCOBOD.

“Together with Cote d’voire, we produce about three million tonnes of cocoa beans which translate into about 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa but the revenue generated from the sale of cocoa for the two countries doesn’t even add up to $6 billion, and this is sad,” he noted.

Farmers

Mr Aidoo also indicated that the farmers in Ghana who were the anchor around which the industry revolved got less than three per cent of the US$100 billion.

“The farmers in Ghana who are producing about three bags per acre and are the anchor in the entire cocoa value chain get about only three per cent of this amount,” he stated.

“We are talking about 800,000 farm households and in effect we have about 1.2 million farmers involved and most of them are smallholder farmers operating about 2.5 hectares,” he added.

Low production

Commenting on cocoa production in the country, the CEO pointed out that production had been very low in the country over the years.

“The average cocoa farmer in Ghana produces around 450 kilos per acre which translates into about three bags per acre which is very low,” he noted.

He said COCOBOD had, therefore, been undertaking some productivity enhancement programmes to improve upon the productivity of farmers.

“We believe in a vertical productivity and not lateral, and what it means is that we want to inject a lot of the efficiency into the way production takes place, such that given the same acreage of land, the farmer should be able to enhance his or her productivity and increase yield on the same piece of land,” he explained.

Purpose of visit

The Head of the delegation from the Standard Bank Group, Mr Steve Hall, said the purpose of their visit was part of the bank’s efforts to drive economic growth in Africa.

“We are not here just to bank Africa, but the purpose resides in the fact that we see Africa as an entire continent and a home, and we are here to drive its growth.

“We are also here as an executive team to learn about how we can play our role in making this our home and be able to drive the growth of Africa.

We are on a journey to learn around these things so that as an executive we can help transition the bank into one that can really drive Africa’s growth,” he noted.

Source : Graphic Online

What Quantity of Cocoa Should be Part of A Balanced Diet

By Edward Amporful

Recently I received an enquiry from a Ghanaian student studying abroad. I gathered there was a discussion in class and knowing that Ghana was noted for cocoa production wanted to know the amount of cocoa one should consume per day as part of a balanced diet. I checked this one out and found out that this enquiry had been a subject handled by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2012.

An entity had sought the opinion of the EFSA on the matter in 2012. The ensuing captures what the EFSA went through in coming out with a position on the matter.

The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) of the EFSA was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of the health claim related to cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation.

The food constituent that was the subject of the health claim was cocoa flavanols. Flavanols are flavonoids and belong to a larger group of polyphenols. The flavanols in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) consist of monomeric catechins (mainly epicatechin) and oligomeric flavanols (procyanidins) ranging from dimers to decamers. The Panel considered that cocoa flavanols are sufficiently characterised.

The variety and country of origin, as well as the fermentation and roasting processes applied to cocoa beans, affected the flavanol content in cocoa. This fact underlied, for example, why Ghana’s cocoa is reputed to be of premium quality- because of the processes applied to cocoa beans. The EFSA noted that flavanols are measurable in foods by established methods. In cocoa beans fermented for several days, the amount of monomeric flavanols accounted for 34-37 % of total flavanol content (Wollgast and Anklam, 2000). This work identified three groups ofpolyphenols in cocoa beans: catechins,which constitute about 37% of the polyphenol contentin the beans, anthocyanidins (about 4%), and proanthocyanidins(about 58%).

he claimed effect was that cocoa flavanolshelp maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation which contributed to healthy blood flow. The target population proposed by the applicant was the general healthy adult population.

The capacity of blood vessels to respond to an increase in blood flow by dilating is designated as flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Endothelium-dependent vasodilation contributes to the maintenance of an adequate blood flow to body cells and tissues. The Panel considered that a sustained increase of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in fasting conditions in response to an intervention (e.g. regular consumption of a food/constituent) was a beneficial physiological effect. The Panel considered that maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation was a beneficial physiological effect

Theentity seeking the opinion of EFSA provided three human intervention studies as supportive evidence for the scientific substantiation of the claim. The evidence investigated the effects of cocoa flavanols on endothelium dependent flow-mediated dilation (ED-FMD) in fasting conditions during repeated consumption of the food constituent (for 30 days to 6 weeks) in subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD) under pharmacological treatment for this condition. Two out of the three studies showed an effect of cocoa flavanols consumed for 30 days on fasting ED-FMD in subjects with CAD who were under pharmacological treatment. The effect occurred after seven days of consumption of cocoa flavanols.

A number of human intervention studies had been conducted in different population subgroups (e.g. smokers, older adults, obese subjects, subjects with type 2 diabetes and CAD). These addressed the acute effects of cocoa flavanols when consumed on a single occasion on ED-FMD. The information was provided by the entity as supportive evidence for the scientific substantiation of the claim. One of the studies also assessed the acute effects of cocoa flavanols on ED-FMD during repeated consumption (for seven days) of the food/constituent. Consumption of cocoa flavanols on a single occasion induced an acute, dose-dependent increase in ED-FMD which was maximal two hours after consumption of the food constituent. This paralleled blood concentrations of the flavanol metabolites. This returned to baseline six hours after ingestion, and is sustained with repeated consumption of cocoa flavanols.

A study found the highest plasma peak concentrations of flavanols were obtained 2 to 3 hours after ingestionin a dose-dependent manner and still measurable after8 hours(Serafiniet al.Plasma antioxidants from chocolate. Nature. 2003; 424:1013.21).

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that cocoa flavanols consumed for 12 weeks had been shown to increase fasting ED-FMD significantly in the target population in one human intervention study. In another human intervention study the effect was dose-dependent and occurred after one week of consumption under the conditions of use proposed by the entity. The effect was supported by two additional intervention studies, and that it was also observed in two out of three studies in patients under pharmacological treatment for CAD.

The Panel also took into account that consumption of cocoa flavanols on a single occasion induced an acute and dose-dependent increase in ED-FMD which is sustained with regular consumption of the food/constituent. The acute effect was mediated by the enhancement of NO production in the endothelium each time cocoa flavanolswere consumed.

The Panel concluded that a cause and effect relationship had been established between the consumption of cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The Panel considered that the following wording reflected the scientific evidence-that Cocoa flavanols helped to maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributed to normal blood flow.

In order to obtain the claimed effect, 200 mg of cocoa flavanols should be consumed daily. This amount could be provided by 2.5 g of high-flavanol cocoa powder or 10 g of high-flavanol dark chocolate. These amounts of cocoa powder or dark chocolate could be consumed in the context of a balanced diet. The target population is the general population.

Source : Ghanain Times