The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has commissioned the first phase of the refurbished Receptive Facility and Exhibition Centre of the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm at Mampong in the Eastern Region to enhance its activities.
Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Tourism Minister, who commissioned the facility, said cocoa plays a significant role in Ghana’s economy through employment provision and foreign exchange earnings. She indicated that the Tourism Ministry, through the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), collaborated with the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Cocoa Processing Company and the Produce Buying Company to institutionalize the National Chocolate Day on February 14, Valentine’s Day, to promote the consumption of cocoa and cocoa based products.
According to Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre is therefore expected to prominently feature in the renewed projection of cocoa as a national asset and the broader dissemination of information about the crop and its contribution to the nation.
“The refurbished receptive facility has an audio-visual room for showing orientation videos on various aspects of cocoa. It also has exhibition spaces where different thematic presentations can be mounted to enhance the interpretation of the cocoa story,” she said.
Concluding her speech, the Tourism Minister revealed that the facility is not only an honour to Tetteh Quarshie but also serve as a centre to highlight cocoa’s strategic position in Ghana’s economy, adding that a number of tourist sites and facilities across the country are being upgraded including those in Gwollu, Gushegu, Kintampo, Bonwire, Axim, Beyin, Bunso, Anomabu, Jamestown and Tafiatome.
The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman hinted that the passage of the Tourism (Tourist Sites) Regulations 2019, LI 2393, has reinforced the Authority’s desire to upgrade the various sites to offer lifetime experience to visitors. As part of efforts to boost tourism in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority has been restructured in the “new normal” with a focus on improving products and embarking on aggressive marketing, he added.
The Akuapem North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Barima Awuah Sarpong Asiedu-Larbi, called for continuous support to develop its array of tourist sites. These are the Akonedi Shrine, the six branches palm nut tree, Samuel Otu Memorial Chapel, and the Amenapa and Obosomase Waterfalls, among others.A family member of Tetteh Quarshie, Mr Jonathan Hammond, also urged the government to embark on rigorous cocoa planting exercises to enable the country to reclaim the top spot as the leading producer of cocoa on the continent.
The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm is located in Mampong in the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region, 34.8km from Accra and it is situated on 0.38 hectares of land. The Farm contains plants of original cocoa seed brought to Ghana by Tetteh Quarshie from Fernando Po, off the coast of the Equatorial Guinea in 1987. The refurbished facility comes with a souvenir shop, photo exhibition hall, video room, manager’s office and washrooms.
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