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National Chocolate Day: A visit to cocoa farm in the Bono region

Cocoa From Ghanasa Ghanaians celebrate chocolate day on 14th February

Tue, 15 Feb 2022 Source: Charles Yeboah Sir Lord

As the world marks Valentine's Day, on 14th February 2022, Ghana rather celebrates its rich cocoa with loved ones.

In 2005, under the regime of President John Agyekum Kuffuor, his able tourism minister, the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey instituted the National Chocolate Day in lieu of the global St. Valentine's Day phenomenon.

Since that year till date, Ghanaians largely replace sharing of cocoa products, especially chocolate bars to their loved ones as opposed to flowers or cards exchanged elsewhere.

To highlight the significance of the day, a spotlight is shed on a Ghanaian youth in the Bono Region whose cocoa beans contribute to the chocolate bars you may be sharing on this lovers' day.

Mr. Anokye Isaac has taken over the age-old farming business of his grandfather, Kwaku Sah, as he gladly tells this reporter.

At his farm on the outskirt of Goka in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region, Mr. Anokye points to a cocoa tree (Tetteh Quarshie) that's over eighty years, yet still bears fruit all year round.

And he boasts of it that, "right here, there's Mampong Akuapem cocoa farm if one wants to see".

As a former footballer who ended his education after Junior High School (JHS), Mr. Anokye has taken to farming.

And a visit to his farm is more of an excursion to see sauna and fauna trees and all kinds of livestock.

As part of good farming practices, Mr. Anokye has planted commercial trees in Odum, mahogany, sapele, wawa and all other nearly extinct forest trees on his farm.

He gladly points to those trees that: "students will in the near future visit my farm to see trees they only know of in their books".

To chalk more successes, Mr. Anokye appeals to the government and all stakeholders to assist his farming activities by providing technical knowledge and a ready market for his produce.

His cocoa farm share borders with his huge cashew nut farm on a unique landscape with caves that he tells me: "was a safe haven for the Goka Adonteng warriors in the ancient times of the kingdom wars".

But now the rocky caves are dens for all beasts whose marks in footprints are visible upon approaching the place.

His major headache now is the lack of an irrigation system that'll encourage all-year-round farming.

To nurse seedlings or serve water to his livestock - the goats, fowls and pigs, Mr. Anokye employs farmhands to walk miles to a well that lies at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather overflowing in the rainy season and dried up in the drought-prone harmattan season.

As did the tourism minister in 2005, Mr. Anokye's farm presents a side of attraction that deserves highlighting for adventure seekers.

And coming to his aide now will add weight to the government's call for the youth to venture into agriculture/farming.

Columnist: Charles Yeboah Sir Lord