A farmer support scheme aimed at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers across the country has been launched in Ghana on Friday 12th of November 2021.
The scheme dubbed “Kookoo Daakyepa” (meaning “A good future for Cocoa”) is an initiative of leading British Chocolatier and Cocoa grower, Hotel Chocolat through its partners, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, the Green Topics Group (GTG) and Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd.
Under the Kookoo Daakyepa scheme, Hotel Chocolat & Partners will pay GHC 100 cedis premium per standard cocoa bag directly to farmers at the end of the cocoa season, through its partner Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd.
Yearly adjustments will be made taking into consideration the increases in the cost of living for farmer families.
Farmers would also benefit from subsidies on pre-harvest farm activities such as pruning and agricultural extension services, promotion of agroforestry and efforts to eradicate child and forced labour.
This program is also aimed at creating a local hands-on approach where farmers are educated on doing the right thing for the planet and communities through good farming practices.
Currently, there are 2,500 farmers targeted around Nkawkaw and Juaso and Hotel Chocolat through Nyonkopa and Green Tropics is aiming to put enough money into the pockets of cocoa farmers in the districts to ensure a decent standard of living.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Chocolat, Angus Thirlwell, expressed optimism that the scheme will have a significant impact on the lives of Ghana’s hardworking cocoa farmers who contribute massively to the GDP of the country.
‘’I would like to emphasize that this is not charity or philanthropy. We are paying more, voluntarily, because that is what the fine quality Ghanaian Cocoa is worth to our brand. For 15 years we have been operating our own organic cocoa farm in the Caribbean on an island called Saint Lucia. We are farmers too, highly unusual amongst chocolate brands. Everything we have learned as a farmer has been folded into this program.’’
For his part, the Chief of Obomeng Traditional Area, Nana Effah Pinamang III who chaired the occasion urged farmers in the municipality and surrounding areas to take advantage of the scheme and ensure they sell their cocoa to Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd in order to benefit from the program.
He also issued a stern warning to farmers engaged in or are planning to engage in illegal mining or galamsey to desist from the act.
A key component of the Kookoo Daakyepa scheme is the promotion of farm practices that protects nature to ensure the viability of a more sustainable effort to curb challenges associated with climate change.
The scheme also requests and requires that farmers plant more indigenous trees on their cocoa farms to reduce moisture evaporation from the earth due to the shade – Increase biodiversity of pollinating insect and animal life – sequester carbon, benefiting all mankind.
Hotel Chocolat has worked in partnership with GTG and farmers since 2002 within the Nkawkaw and Juaso Districts.
Since 2018, the Hotel Chocolat partnered up with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation via Horizons chocolate purchases that drive a positive impact in the above Districts.