Business News of 2014-03-10

KNUST students help to save cocoa industry

Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) are partnering two international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in designing a deliberate policy to encourage the youth to go into the production and distribution of cocoa to save the industry from imminent collapse.

The move is a response to a research which indicates that most cocoa farmers are ageing and the youth are less motivated to take over.

The student volunteers, mostly from the agricultural department of the university under the code name: 'Cocoa Life Ambassadors,' are into community education cocoa reading clubs and vacation work on farms. They are also helping to promote involvement of the youth in the cocoa supply chain to ensure child development in targeted communities.

A day's seminar on the theme: 'Sustainability of cocoa supply chain: The role of the youth,' which featured prominently the two NGOs- Mondelez International, the largest confectionary in the world, and Care International, implementing partners of the occasion life programme, influenced participants to take interest in saving the industry.

Presentations were made by some of the key actors, including Matilda Broni of Mondelez and Mawuli Asigbee of Care International.

The project officer of the Cocoa Life Project, Care International, Solomon Tawiah McBanasam, told the Daily Graphic last Friday that response from students had been very encouraging, and expressed optimism that the industry would be saved.