Pupils exposed to benefits in Ghana’s cocoa sector

The high unemployment rate among Ghanaian youth could be drastically reduced if the younger generations are encouraged to take up the numerous job opportunities the cocoa industry offers, Fred Frimpong, programme manager Solidarida has said.

Solidarida is an international civil society organisation which facilitates the development of socially responsible, and ecologically profitable supply chains.

“The cocoa crop has a myriad of opportunities for the youth to take up, so we believe that the younger generation must be introduced to the crop at an early stage in their lives to help them develop that interest and possibly take up employment in the industry,” he said.

Mr. Frimpong was speaking in an interview after Solidaridad partnered a local travel and tour agency, TN Delfah to take about 100 children from selected basic schools to a learning tour to cocoa farms and the Ghana Cocoa Research Institute to help the pupils develop the interest in cocoa at an early stage in their lives.

“The cocoa industry’s value chain-from nursery through harvesting and the processing into chocolates, drinks and confectionaries provide massive employment avenues for the youth who are seeking non-existent white colour jobs,” he said.

The pupils, from De Youngster’s International and Jack and Jill basic schools, both in the capital, were taken on a sponsored tour dubbed `Cocoa Learning Experience’ to the famous Tetteh Quashie cocoa farm at Mampong and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana(CRIG)at Tafo in the Eastern Region.

The pupils were taken through the different process and varieties of products made from cocoa.

On her part, Mrs. Tina Amenyah, the chief executive of TN Delfah Travel and Tour, was full of praise to Solidaridad for supporting the initiative: “I realised that the youth have a limited appreciation of the real value and opportunities that the cocoa crop offers to them and the Ghanaian economy.

“We decided to start this as part of our local tourism drive and also create an avenue for the younger generation to develop interest in cocoa so some may become entrepreneurs in the cocoa value chain. Cocoa can offer them secure jobs,’’ she said.

“Studies show that the average age for cocoa farmers is between 55 and 65 years so we are happy that this initiative is introducing the children to the crop, some can grow to become researchers, cocoa scientists besides the main stream cocoa farmers,” Dr Mrs. Mercy Asamoah, principal research scientist at CRIG said

By Times Reporter

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