The Paramount Chief of the Akuapem Mampong Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwame Ottu Darte III has called on the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to revive cocoa production at Mampong where the first cocoa beans were cultivated in the country by Tetteh Quarshie.
Tetteh Quarshie, after his attempt to cultivate cocoa at Osu failed, decided to settle at Mampong Akwapim where he nurtured the first cocoa seedlings in a small garden in 1879.
In 1870, Tetteh Quarshie undertook a voyage to the Spanish colony of Fernando Po now, Bioko in Equatorial Guinea.
After six years, he returned to Ghana in 1879 with several cocoa beans (the Amelonado) and made history. Cocoa (the golden pod) has since remained the major cash crop and backbone of the economy, providing jobs and sustenance for the livelihood of most Ghanaians within the forest zone.
Osabarima Darte made the call at a durbar to mark the Awukudae Festival at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region during which the traditional council also adopted Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover as an inhabitant of the community to strengthen the relationship between him and the Apesemakahene of the Traditional Area, Nana Yirenkyi I.
The adoption was also in recognition of the immense development the hero, Tetteh Quarshie, a goldsmith, contributed to the Mampong community when he returned to the country after he brought cocoa from Fernando Po.
He said the country had derived so many benefits from cocoa but it was unfortunate the community where Tetteh Quarshie first planted the crop was not producing much cocoa and the community also remained under developed.
The garden at Mampong still had remnants of the first trees Tetteh Quarshie planted.
He also appealed to the Ministry of Health to rehabilitate the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital built in recognition of the special exploits of Tetteh Quarshie which is in a deplorable state.
The adoption ceremony took place during the Awukudae Festival at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region last Wednesday.
In attendance were traditional authorities from the Mampong Traditional Area, family members, executives and members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), some former executive members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tettey.
Libation was poured to invoke the gods and goddesses of the land to protect him as a son of the community.
Osabarima Darte noted that the adoption would go a long way to help the community and residents since he could contribute a lot to the development of the community and lobby on their behalf.
“Mr Titus -Glover is now one of our own, Tetteh Quarshie who was a Ga decided to settle at Mampong Akwapim to enable people of the community to enjoy the benefits from cocoa.”