Business News of Tuesday, 8 June 2021
Source: Albert Gooddays, Contributor
MASO, a five year programme initiated to lift up the cocoa industry in the country by encouraging young people to prioritize cocoa farming has led to some 4,100 Ghanaian youth currently into cocoa cultivation.
The programme started in 2016 and completed in 2020 was able to reach 13,964 youth nationwide, out of which the 4,100 persons established their own cocoa farms totaling about 1,458 hectares across the country.
The country has since remained the world’s second largest producer of cocoa after Ivory Coast, however, stakeholders are never reluctant in strengthening the industry.
Some six consortium members including Ghana Cocoa Board led by Solidaridad birthed the MASO programme in 2016, with a focus on encouraging cocoa farming and creating employment opportunities for the youth aged between 18 and 25.
The program was successfully completed in 2020 and the Volta regional close up session was held in the Ho West district.
Mrs. Stephanie Donu Sarpong is the Head of Gender and Quality Management System of Solidaridad speaking after the brief ceremony.
“I think the MASO programme has come to demonstrate that this old age saying that the youth are not interested in farming is not totally true.
So through the programme, we realised if you are able to enabling environment, if you’re able to provide the necessary, if you’re able to provide the necessary infrastructure, if you’re able to provide the necessary support, the youth are able to see the business case of cocoa farming and because of the package we give to them, they are able to do their farming better and able to see the prospect “ she said.
A representative from Cocoa Board, Mr. Boaz-Ofosu Asiedu praised the MASO initiative and promised the Board’s support.
The five year programme was funded by MasterCard Foundation and some other achievements are; 73% of MASO females are now financially independent and 83% of MASO youth now perceive agriculture as a business.