World's leading chocolate company, Mondelez International through its Cocoa Life Sustainability Programme says it is working towards sourcing 100 per cent of its cocoa from Ghana.
This according to the head, Cocoa Life Program in Ghana, for Mondelez, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi would be a huge boost to cocoa farmers and make farming attractive for the youth.
Already she said Mondelez sources about 40 per cent of its cocoa from Ghana but working towards making the country its sole market in the next five years.
"Mondelez International commits to secure 100 per cent cocoa volume for all chocolate brands through its Cocoa Sustainable Programme by 2025, we accept the challenge here in Ghana," she stated.
In view of that, she said, the outfit commits to harnessing technology and community ownership by facilitating the adoption of good agricultural and environmental practices and develops farming communities.
She said the company would continue to support farmers to strategically enhance their performance of farmers through the use of modern methods and technology and the capacity of organised farmers to drive their own development.
"Cocoa Life has been supporting farmers in the country to ensure they enhance productivity by shifting from manual farming to a modernised or mechanised farming so they could produce in large scale to meet the demand of the global world," she stressed.
Farmers she said would be supported to cultivate cocoa and ensure the premium quality that Ghana is known for since investing in the farmers would ensure that the right farming practices were carried out.
As part of their support, Cocoa Life presented the first batch of 100 motorised trimmers to 50 farming groups to enhance their productivity.
In all, she said, 100 trimmers with each costing about USD1000 would be given to farmers across the country.
In addition, 29,116 registered farmers in 334 cocoa communities have received about 18 million Ghana cedis for the 2018/2019 crop year as sustainability premium to implement their development plans.
The premium over the years, she said has helped farmers to develop their communities by building infrastructure including schools, clinics, accommodation for teachers and nurses, community recreational scholarships, factories and water wells.
"We would monitor and ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose as we need farmers to drive their own development and own every action that they take so that at the end of the day, quality cocoa bean would be produced in Ghana," she stressed.
That he said would reduce child labour as various amenities especially schools would be provided within the farming communities for the children to attend while vehicles have been provided to convey the children to the schools.
Speaking on behalf of the cocoa farmers Mr Humphrey Ayisi expressed appreciation to Cocoa Life for the support to cocoa farming in the country.
He said, they would use the trimmers as well as the premium to develop their farms and eventually produce quality bean that would meet acceptable global standards.
Cocoa Life is a sustainable programme which assists cocoa growing communities to strengthen their capacities by determining and achieving their own long-term goals geared towards driving economic development and prosperity.