Prince Charles’ visit to a cocoa farm at Kona in Ashanti
The visiting Prince of Wales, Prince Charles on Sunday paid a working visit to a cocoa farm at Kona in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Region as part of his four-day tour in Ghana.
The elated and apparently lost for words Agyen Brefo, the 42-year-old Kona based mixed crop farmer, who had the rare and memorable experience of the visit to his farm by the Prince of Wales was singled out for praise for the sustainable manner in which he produced his crops.
Prince Charles has been a long-time advocate for sustainable farming and used the visit to experience how sustainable cocoa is done in Ghana.
With his main focus on cash crops, Brefo has been farming cocoa in the last seven years on a 27-acre land.
Aside cash crops, the farmer also focuses on poultry, Guinea fowl, sugar cane and a chain of locally demand crops in line with Ghana’s food security policy.
Prince Charles did not make any audible statement to the hearing of the media but nodded his head as he interacted with Brefo.
Prince Charles did not make any policy statement but appeared to have been encouraged and impressed with Brefo’s achievement in seven years.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will end their working visit to Ghana on Tuesday.
Agyen Brefo is one of the over 400,000 farmers who have been benefiting from investments in training in good agronomic practices over the years supported by Kuapa Kokoo.
UK Monarch experiences cocoa farming at first hand
Ghanaian cocoa farmers have appealed to Prince of Wales to use his first-hand experience on Ghana’s cocoa farm to lobby for higher prices of the commodity on the international market.
Prince Charles was on a model cocoa farm at Kona in the Ashanti Region as part of a state visit to Ghana.
Forty-one-year-old Agyen Brefo, a model cocoa farmer, took the monarch through the process of preparing cocoa from the farm to the shed, explaining to him why Ghana’s cocoa is considered the premium quality product.
Agyen started farming seven years ago after spending years in Accra and Israel where he had travelled to seek greener pastures which perhaps, never appeared green for him, after all.
With 27 acres of land, he used about two-thirds to cultivate cocoa, using the hybrid while coconuts, sugar cane and other crops occupy the rest together with some poultry.
He has interspersed cocoa with tree species like Odum and Ofram to serve a dual purpose of providing windbreak and timber re-afforestation.
He encouraged other companies to assist the youth to go into farming, especially as regard finance and land acquisition.
He called on the youth who have family lands to start the cocoa business because it was really juicy.
Agyen said he is the luckiest farmer to have hosted Prince Charles on his farm beyond the support he had received from Kuapa kooko Company.
Officer in charge of Extension and Environmental Services at Kuapa Kooko, Frank Okyere, led a team to take Prince Charles through getting cocoa ready for consumption.
The Prince acknowledged it is tedious work.
Britain consumes an estimated 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year, an average of 11kg per person per year, a figure that equates to about 3 bars a week.
The farmers said they considered the Prince’s visit as one that will encourage them to do more to increases production but pleaded with the Prince to give cocoa prices a serious thought.
More importantly, they want Prince Charles to use what he learnt on the visit to lobby for higher prices for cocoa so farmers can get better rewards for their toil.