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.