Business News of Friday, 17 August 2012
Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, on Thursday entreated the youth to venture into Cocoa cultivation instead of waiting for non-existent white collar jobs.
He urged especially the young graduates who are looking for employment opportunities in the government or with the private sector to create their own employment by going into Cocoa production.
Dr Adu-Ampomah made the call at the maiden Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Lecture on the theme: “Sustaining Ghana’s Market Competitiveness through Cocoa" in Accra.
The maiden lecture organised by the University Of Ghana Business School in collaboration with the Mampong Akuapem Traditional Council was to celebrate the achievement and legacies of Tetteh Quarshie and to institute the lecture in his memory.
Tetteh Quarshie brought Cocoa pod from Fernando-Po, now Equatorial Guinea, to Ghana in 1879 to propagate the economic fortunes of the country by establishing the first Cocoa plantation at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region.
He envisaged that in future, graduates of Agriculture, Science, Accounting, and Banking would prefer to own and manage their own Cocoa farms rather than seek banking jobs.
“A day will come when young men and women who hold degrees in engineering or any other will own and manage their own Cocoa farm, not because they have no option but because they regard farming as a more lucrative enterprise,” he added.
He said the Cocoa industry is the backbone of the country’s economy, having its footprint in every aspect of life in Ghana.
He noted that the commodity plays a major role in national developmental efforts, providing jobs for millions of Ghanaians while earning foreign exchange and tax revenue in return.
Dr Adu-Ampomah said notwithstanding the progress made in the industry, it still faces certain challenge including deforestation, complicated land tenure system, denuded cocoa trees and aging farmers.
He said innovations were needed to develop the Cocoa sector to reduce the deforestation and habitat conversion, maintain forest tress species to favour species richness.
Former President John Agyekum Kufour expressed gratitude to the organisers for instituting a memorial lecture in honour of Tetteh Quarshie.
He said he does not know what the country would have been without cocoa, since it helped immensely in the development of the country.