On Sunday, St. Valentine’s Day, a very significant event took place in the country which almost went unnoticed.
While most people concentrated on the celebration of the day, the chief and elders of Krodua, in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region, held a cheerful ceremony to donate 500 acres of land to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), to support the youth in a cocoa programme.
The ceremony, which coincided with the National Chocolate Day, was held to formally hand over the land in fulfillment of a pledge made by Nana Barima Kwame Anim II, chief of Krodua, to COCOBOD in 2015.
The Times is informed that the COCOBOD had earlier, approached the chief and his elders for the land for the board’s Youth in Cocoa programme.
According to COCOBOD, the programme is a deliberate government policy aimed at encouraging the youth to venture into cocoa farming so that they can replace the ageing cocoa farming population.
The COCOBOD is undertaking the programme primarily because of a startling revelation that the average age of cocoa farmers is estimated between 55-60 years.
The statistics said the COCOBOD threatened the sustainability of cocoa farming in the country.
While commending COCOBOD for the desire to prevent the collapse of cocoa farming, we also wish to congratulate the chief and the elders for their generous donation to COCOBOD.
No doubt, land plays a very significant role in farming, and the lack of it, can affect agriculture activities in general.
Indeed, cocoa farming is a lucrative venture, but the youth who should be encouraged to engage in it have refused to do so. Many of them instead, want to drift into the cities in search of non-existing jobs.
In addition, there is the erroneous notion that farming is a job reserved for the aged and for the poor and, therefore, not suitable for the educated youth.
Hopefully, the donation of the 500 acres of land and government’s commitment in encouraging the youth and supporting them with land and other resources should erase the wrong perception.
It is our desire that many employed youths roaming the streets of the cities, would seize the opportunity and enroll in the programme.
Apart from the economic gains to the beneficiaries, it would ensure that our aging cocoa farmers are replaced with more energetic youths to carry on from where they left off.
Once again, we congratulate Nana Barima Kwame Anim II, and his elders for the kind gesture to the people of Ghana.