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General News of Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

How Ghana’s oldest cocoa farm is being stolen

It was the era where lands were gifted, and being the sociable, hardworking and good person, he was, it wasn’t very difficult for the chief of the Mampong Akuapim township, to at the time, apportion a great deal of land for him.

After being rejected with his cocoa by other towns preceding Mampong, Tetteh Quarshie managed to start a farm with some six cocoa pods he brought back from Fernando Po with the endorsement of the then Mampong Chief and the cooperation of the town’s inhabitants.

With several acres of land and with about 250 cocoa seeds in all, he made a very large farm; the start of Ghana’s cocoa plantation history.

But, years later, expansions started, the sale of lands began, building constructions were fast becoming popular and Tetteh Quarshie’s farm was not spared.

Bit by bit, over 140 years and the land which had several acres today has just about an acre; barely. It is on this little piece that his legacy is still thriving.

Tour guide, Thomas Awuku, explained the situation to GhanaWeb when the ‘People and Places’ team visited the farm.

“When he (Tetteh Quarshie) came (to Akropong), he made a farm, it was bigger and larger than this. In the olden days, if you needed a land, you didn’t need to buy. You just had to see the chief, go the traditional way and they’ll give you the land.

This land wasn’t sold to Tetteh Quarshie, it was a gift from the chief and after he died. It has been like encroachment and now its left with just this,” he said.

Adding,

“All these houses you are seeing now, they were not here, this whole place was a cocoa farm but after he died, they’ve eaten somehow into the farm.
So now we have just about 1 acre, that is 0.38 hectares.”



At the time GhanaWeb had visited though, Mr. Awuku revealed that efforts were being made, promises also, to build a wired fence around the remaining farmland. This, he hopes curbs any further damage to the tourist site which is also producing for Ghana, lots of money, through harvest and tourism.

Watch the full interview below

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