Mondelez International Cocoa Life Ghana has awarded 20 students from selected schools for their excellent performance in an essay competition.
Pupils were asked to write an essay that ends with: “That is why cocoa is Ghana and Ghana is cocoa” or “The role of children in Ghana’s cocoa sector”.
Another topic was “Write a letter to the Minister of Food and Agriculture suggesting at least five ways of encouraging the youth in Ghana to get involved in cocoa farming”.
Out of the 200 students who participated in the competition, 20 emerged winners with two of the awardees receiving scholarships, six receiving laptop computers, and the rest receiving stationery items, company products and certificates of participation.
The event is part of the activities lined up for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Mondelez International Cocoa Life (MICL), the social intervention programme of the global cocoa products manufacturer.
This initiative was introduced to create awareness of the impact of cocoa production as well as challenge the youth and children in cocoa growing communities to take interest in cocoa farming.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, the Country Lead of Mondelez International Cocoa Life Ghana Programme, Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, said the idea behind the topics was to enhance the knowledge of children on cocoa farming and production.
“Most children in urban areas have no knowledge about the cocoa crop although they enjoy cocoa beverages. This competition has challenged them to have the experience on how to plant the cocoa and things that go into it,” she said.
She said the competition was organised in collaboration with Child Right International to encourage children to appreciate the importance of cocoa seed and products.”
Mrs Amekudzi said the 100,000 cocoa farmers in 147 cocoa communities in six regions of Ghana contributed a lot to the socio-economic development of the country.
Mrs Amekudzi stressed that challenges such as the lack of land for farming, low productivity due to limited knowledge in modern farming techniques, limited access to planting materials, pests and diseases, environmental issues and limited access to education were some of the constraints militating against the cocoa farmers which affected the entire economy.
“Cocoa farmers are doing marvelously well but they always have issues that hinder their activities and affect their contribution to the economy of Ghana,” she said.
“I think, as a country, we have to do everything within our power to help cocoa farmers physically and financially. This will boost cocoa production in the country,” she stressed.
She explained that as part of the initiative to support cocoa farmers, Cocoa Life had increased its support to cocoa farmers from 100 communities to 477 communities as of the beginning of the year and also expanded from five districts to 15 districts.
The Mondelez International is the world’s largest manufacture of chocolates.
The company’s vision is to empower thriving cocoa communities as essential foundation for cocoa sustainability program; creating better environment for the holistic development of the children of cocoa farmers and inspiring a career in cocoa farming among young people.