Cadbury intensifies moves to boost cocoa production in Ghana

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Agriculture/Poverty
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Cadbury Cocoa Partnership has intensified its effort at boosting cocoa production in Ghana in order to sustain its business.

In effect, it has expanded its grass-root initiative to bring more communities onboard towards realizing its dream.On Monday in Accra, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership in line with its above stated objective, unveiled an initiative dubbed ‘Cocoa Ambassador Program’ which is made up of ten young talented students drawn from various tertiary institutions across the country to spearhead its campaign drive.

The aim is to build youth interest in the cocoa growing communities in the country.

Youth engagement in of cocoa farming is one of the biggest challenges confronting the country. As a result of this phenomenon, productivity in the cocoa growing communities is low, hence the launch of the ‘Cocoa Ambassador Program’ to increase engagement and revive the interest in cocoa production amongst the youth population in the country.

The Ambassadors, according to Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Director, Program Coordinating Unit, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, will enrol on a two-year program which will be implemented through tertiary-education level students to reach young people in all levels of education as well as out-of-school children.

“This is a voluntary commitment. In doing so, we will be encouraging the spirit of volunteerism in Ghana. Their cost for transportation, accommodation in the field, feeding and implementing activities will covered by the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership. At the end of their stewardship, they will form the ‘Cocoa Ambassadors Club’ where they will be mentored by a Cadbury Ghana employee or COCOBOD”, noted Madam Amekudzi.

The Ambassadors will operate in 100 communities in seven cocoa growing districts of Ghana and are expected to mentor young farmers who can play a key part in community empowerment and development.

Officials of the Partnership said since the launch of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership in 2008, productivity in the Ghanaian cocoa sector stands at 40% output per hectare of its estimated potential and long term sustainability cannot be overemphasized with fully integrating the youth population.

Already, there are about seventy Cadbury volunteers who are working alongside villagers in Adjeikrom as part of the Earthshare research program.

In addition to this drive, about 10 cocoa farmer organisations in the country are on course to join others in becoming Fairtrade certified by the end of the year in order to benefit from selling their cocoa on fair-trade terms to Cadbury.

“Certification through Fairtrade is part of our strategy to offer cocoa growing communities greater opportunities, by giving a fair price to farmers and a premium for social development to empower farmers through Fairtrade investment in their own farms and communities”, said Ms. Harriet Lamb, Executive Director, Fairtrade Foundation.

About £45million is expected to be invested in the program over a ten-year period in key cocoa growing communities in Ghana, India, the Caribbean and South East Asia.


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