According to Dr. Yeboah Woode, Research Scientist and Lecturer for the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, and Executive Director of Marglas Potash Industries (MPI), potassium carbonate (potash salt) produced from cocoa husks has large economic potential that should be exploited for cocoa farmers and the country.  Dr. Woode recommends that the government support individuals and organizations to produce potash salt extracted from cocoa husks in commercial quantities to boost incomes of cocoa farmers and create employment for the youth and women in cocoa growing areas.  Currently, MPI cannot meet the foreign daily demand of roughly 1,000 tons of potash salt produced from cocoa husks.  However, Dr. Woode said that management could meet the demand with government assistance to establish more factories in major cocoa growing areas throughout the country, further explaining that this would not only offer employment for the youth provide extra income to cocoa farmers but also generate about two million dollars in foreign exchange to the country. “Ghana needs to realise the full potentials of cocoa to benefit farmers and the country,” he added.  Moreover, he said, salt extracted from potash would help to reduce the importation of potassium salt into the country and also to diversify the country’s export earnings.  At present, MPI plans to establish more factories in major cocoa growing areas by 2010 and is appealing to both government and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for assistance.

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