With a population of over 29 million, and the youth forming the majority, he said, cocoa products must be consumed here to not only boost local production but ensure that young people gain the health benefits of consuming cocoa products.
The cocoa industry, he added, had huge prospects as efforts were being put in place to ensure Ghana produced three million metric tonnes of cocoa annually.
“Now we are doing vertical production where 40 bags of cocoa can be produced on an acre of land with over 2000 pods of cocoa registered on one tree, meaning farmers would not require large acres of land to produce cocoa,” he stated.
Rahul Gopinath was adjudged Cocoa Personality of the Year at the 2020 Ghana Cocoa Awards, held in Accra.
Mr Gopinath, who also won the CEO of the Year, beat stiff competition from Head of Cocoa Life Ghana, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, to win the ultimate award on the night.
Madam Peprah Amekudzi settled for the Sustainability Personality of the Year award while Cocoa Life Ghana was also adjudged Sustainability Initiative of the Year.
This year’s event, dubbed the COVID-19 Resilience Edition and held under the theme ‘The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – Prospects and Opportunities for Ghana’s Cocoa’, was aimed at recognising the efforts of companies and individuals in the Ghana cocoa industry within the year.
Other awards on the night included Entrepreneur of the Year, which went to Michael Zormelo of Omnifert Limited, with the Outstanding Contribution of the Year won by Robert Austin, Country Director, Meda Ghana.
In all, 30 awards were presented to companies and individuals, as well as 12 special awards for personalities and institutions.
The CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board and the 2019 Cocoa Personality of the Year, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo congratulated winners for their performance and efforts in ensuring a vibrant cocoa industry.
“There are enormous opportunities that Ghana has not exploited with cocoa, and we are sitting on a product that has enormous potential that could be utilised,” he added.
He was, however, optimistic that with ongoing interventions by government and other stakeholders, the cocoa industry would grow and become very vibrant as expected.