The Brong-Ahafo Regional Administrator of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Michael P. K. Asumanu, has expressed the organization’s commitment to annually recreate the cocoa village concept.
The concept aimed to promote the educational aspect of cocoa farming among the youth for them to become familiarize with the farming, activities and processes, and offer an opportunity for people to experience a cocoa farm in an urban setting.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani, Mr Asumanu noted that many individuals were unaware of what a typical cocoa farm looked like and how cocoa beans were harvested and dried.
As part of its year-end activities in 2023, the Regional Office of COCOBOD, created a cocoa village located at a portion of the car park in front of its regional office building and kept opened to the public for five days, welcoming passersby, staff and tenants with the aim of popularizing cocoa farming among urban dwellers.
Mr Asumanu explained that the cocoa village concept was introduced to provide a realistic representation of a cocoa farm within the cocoa house building,0 natural cocoa leaves, dried cocoa beans displayed in the sun, were used for the set-up, while pineapples and plantains, which were usual in a typical cocoa farm were used as well as the village itself built using huts and wood.
He elaborated on the efforts made to enhance the vibrancy of the village to the public, where local dishes like boiled yam and plantain (ampesi) and stew were prepared, with palm wine served in the hut, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of cocoa farmers on the farm.
Moreover, recreational activities such as card games, ludo, draught and ‘oware’ games were organised within the village, as an element of entertainment and engagement for visitors.
In terms of patronage, Mr Asumanu described the remarkable popularity of the village concept very appealing as passersby were irresistibly drawn to the village and eager to experience it for the first time with others captivated by the opportunity to capture picturesque moments, while the dedicated staff and tenants displayed their genuine interest and admiration for that initiative.
He said the concept provided unique opportunity for the staff of other departments of COCOBOD such as administration, human resources, accounting and auditing whose works were not directly linked to the farms to gain valuable insights into the inner workings of a typical cocoa farm.
Lisa Acquah, a Senior High School graduate, expressed her appreciation for COCOBOD’s initiative, saying she felt privileged to witness real cocoa beans for the first time and to experience the authentic atmosphere of a cocoa farm village.