Monday, 30 September 2013

Will Your Kids Continue Cocoa Farming?

There is a concern in confectionery industry that cocoa farming is losing its attractiveness among next generation. We also asked this question to our 90 surveyed farmers in 10 communities of Asamankese district in Eastern Ghana. Here is what we got in response:

But we asked one more question: What will happen to your cocoa farm in case your kids will not want to farm it? We asked this question to all 90 farmers. 98% of them responded that other farmers will buy or rent the cocoa farm, left by their kids, and those other farmers will continue cocoa farming.  The answer options also included ''it will be converted to other cash crop'' but none of 90 farmers selected this option. The graph below should suggest that surveyed cocoa farmers are, for the time being, confident that cocoa farming remains one of most sought agricultural activities in their communities among all available crop alternatives. 

Where does such a ''confidence'' come from? Next graph might give the answer to this question. 98% of surveyed farmers believe that cocoa beans prices will increase a bit every year over next 10 years. This itself comes from Ghana's government policy of enforcing stable price as well as various assistance programs such as mass spraying, free clearance and monetary compensation of swollen shoot infected trees and extension services and training funded by government as well as industry.

However recent suspension of free clearance and monetary compensation for infected trees and planned phasing out of the mass spray program may change farmers' attitudes. There are other factors too such as increased attractiveness of alternative existing or new cash crops. 

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