Emmanuel Kwame Donkor, GNA
Accra, March 5, GNA - Cocoa Life Ghana, a sub-division of Mondelez International, the largest cocoa products manufacturer in the world, on Monday said, the lack of next generation and young cocoa farmers in the industry is Ghana’s biggest challenge in the sector.
Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, the country Head of Cocoa Life Ghana, said the issue was a worry because, in her words, ‘without the next cocoa farming generation, there is no cocoa’.
Mrs Amekudzi said this at a national dialogue, under the theme, “Effects of Galamsey on Cocoa Producing Communities,” organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).
She said there was the need for the youth to be attracted into cocoa production, adding that, ‘cocoa farming if done right could be a very lucrative business’.
Mrs Amekudzi said cocoa farmers needed certain ‘right’ tools to make their jobs easier, and Cocoa Life Ghana, as an intervention organisation to cocoa farmers, has in the past helped out in providing these tools.
“We have been able to give out about 1.2 billion cocoa seedlings in the past three years. As a result, our farmers had been able to move cocoa produce per hectare higher.
“With hand pollination, food pruning, spraying, and proper irrigation, yes of course these high yields are possible,” she said.
Mrs Amekudzi added that there was the need to rehabilitate cocoa farms, but said land owners were making that difficult.
She therefore appealed to the Ministry of Land and Natural Resource to have a second look at acquisition of land and matters associated with it.
Cocoa Life has been active in Ghana since 2008, when it began as the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership.
Now there are 30,100 farmers participating in Cocoa Life, across 447 communities.
Cocoa Life’s government partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), hopes to solve this concern in the Ghana cocoa industry as it aims to keep its place as the world's second-largest cocoa-producing country after Côte d'Ivoire.