Youth must be encouraged into cocoa entrepreneurship

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – The high unemployment
rate among Ghanaian youth could be reduced if the younger generation is
encouraged to take up job opportunities the cocoa industry offers.

Mr Fred Frimpong, the Programme Manager at
Solidaridad, an International Civil Society Organisation, said the younger
generation must be introduced to the cocoa crop at an early stage to help them
develop interest and possibly take up employment in the industry.

“The cocoa crop has a myriad of opportunities
for the youth to take up, so we believe that young people 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,” Mr Frimpong said in an
interview with the GNA.

He was speaking after Solidaridad partnered a
local travel and tour agency, TN Delfah, to take about 100 children from
selected basic schools on a sponsored learning tour to cocoa farms and the
Ghana Cocoa Research Institute to help them develop interest in the cocoa

The pupils, from De Youngster’s International
and Jack and Jill basic schools in Accra, 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

They were taken through the different
processes and varieties of products made from cocoa. Two other schools in the
Ashanti Region would also benefit from the sponsored tour.

“All this is in the spirit of helping the
youth to tap into the numerous job opportunities of Ghana’s cocoa industry,” Mr
Frimpong said.

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.  

Mrs Tina Amenyah, the Chief Executive of TN
Delfah Travel and Tour, was full of praise of Solidaridad for supporting the

“I realised that the youth have limited
appreciation of the real value and opportunities that the cocoa crop offers to
them and the Ghanaian economy.

“So 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.

Dr Mrs Mercy Asamoah, the Principal Research
Scientist at CRIG, said studies showed that the average age for cocoa farmers
was 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 as well as main stream cocoa farmers”.

Ghana produced over one million metric tonnes
of the beans in 2011 but output fell to an averaged of 850,000 tonnes annually
since then, due to factors including pest invasion and unfavourable weather.

As a result, the Government and the Ghana
Cocoa Board had put in place strategies to boost annual production and sustain
it beyond the one million tonnes per year.

TN Delfah and Solidaridad’s collaboration
would help the younger generation to learn about cocoa and develop the interest
in becoming agriculture entrepreneurs, besides whatever profession they may
choose in life.

Cocoa is considered as the back bone of
Ghana’s economy as the commodity remains the country’s main agricultural

The chocolate making ingredient fetches the
state billions of dollars in annual revenue and creates hundreds of thousands
of direct and indirect jobs in Ghana.

Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in
the world, behind Ivory Coast and produces premium cocoa for the world’s
chocolate industry. 


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