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Cocoa farming is a great career – Farmer

Opanyin Mensah Opanyin Mensah is a 42-year-old farmer based in Adansi Akrofuom in the Ashanti Region

Sat, 8 May 2021 Source: happyghana.com

Ghana has over the years earned huge amounts of revenue from growing and exporting cocoa to countries across the globe and this has created job opportunities for many in rural Ghana.

Opanyin Mensah, a 42-year-old farmer based in Adansi Akrofuom in the Ashanti Region has posited that indeed cocoa farming is profitable, but its profitability has reduced over the years due to a couple of challenges cocoa farmers face.

“I have been a cocoa farmer for about 20 years now with a couple of acres to my credit. Farming cocoa is really beneficial and profitable but we face a number of problems now”, he disclosed.

Sharing some of the problems of cocoa farmers in his locality, he noted that at the start of every farming season, they (farmers) have to hire labourers to help them clear the farmlands and ready them for planting and harvesting. “This costs us a lot of money and we do not have the chance to expand our farms”.

Aside from costs in clearing farmlands, Opanyin Mensah added, with no fertile lands available like before, farmers now have to rely on purchasing bags of fertilizers and farming inputs to increase yield. “One didn’t need fertilizer in time past to grow cocoa but because lands are not as fertile as before, we need to buy many bags of fertilizer and apply to the land. I need about 10 bags of fertilizer for my entire farm but I can only afford 5 bags and that is also affecting my yield”.

According to him, farmers face difficulties in securing cocoa seedlings for their farms and because of this challenge, farmers in his locality have formed a coalition to resolve the matter. “We have formed a union and currently our leaders are working diligently so we resolve the issue”.

Opanyin Mensah indicated that their greatest problem is the delayed cocoa spraying exercise undertaken by the government. He sadly revealed, “By the time government starts the spraying exercise, almost half of our cocoa farms would’ve been destroyed by pests and parasites. Because we don’t want that happening, we end up taking loans to spray our farms on time. Even these loans are not assured”.

Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show has taken it upon itself to run a series on the plight of cocoa farmers in rural Ghana. The campaign which started this week has received shocking revelations with the most disheartening one being cocoa farmers saying they have never seen or tasted chocolates or any finished product of cocoa, regardless of having grown the cash crop for over 30 years.

Source: happyghana.com