For many years before President John Agyekum Kuffour took the reins of power, Ghana’s cocoa sector was paralyzed beyond redemption.
Our yields had gone completely down since the sector had been left to flounder by the then governing NDC party for years. Cocoa farmers no longer found it he sector lucrative and had to cut down cocoa trees in order to make way for other plants.
Plantains, cocoyams, yams, bananas, cassavas and even mangoes took over the lands which used to nurture cocoa in the forest areas of the country. There was no motivation for farmers and prospective ones to veer into the cocoa sector.
The NPP coming into power in 2001 changed this gloomy picture. President Kuffour decided to resuscitate the dead cocoa sector with policies which would, in a few years, bring back life into the sector. The sector started picking up and reached its peak in the 2010-11 season, when a million tons of cocoa was harvested.
This feat was achieved when the NPP was not in power. The Mills administration made noise about this as they touted same as their achievement even though they knew the Kuffour administration was responsible for that success story. Of course, cocoa cannot be cultivated in a year or two to give such yields. Kuffour’s NPP did all the job.
Our production took a nosedive for five consecutive years until the 2016-17 crop season. We have not fared poorly afterwards but not what we all hoped for the nation.
Thanks to the innovative ideas of the current managers of our cocoa industry, Ghana is set to achieve another milestone worthy of clapping for. Our output has been boosted by prudent policies and programmes introduced by the Joseph Boahen Aidoo-led administration at the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Farmers are highly motivated thanks to increase cocoa prices, sound farming practices such as hand pollination and pruning have raised production to 965,493 tons as at June 3, 2021. This is the highest in five years. With the light crop season coming onboard, the 1 million tons will be surpassed by the end of September.
What cannot be disputed is the fact that whenever the NPP is in power, the cocoa industry heaves sighs of relief as exemplified in the narratives above. To sum it up, cocoa was dead, the NPP, led by President Kuffour, resurrected it. President Akufo-Addo is achieving another unprecedented feat with a record that beats previous ones in terms of production. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo deserves a standing ovation for this wonderful event.
P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.