Like every country, Ghana has some very wealthy people. But many of its people do not have enough to live on.
Ghana is batter than many countries in Africa, but it’s about the 48th poorest in the world. It is the world’s second largest producer of cocoa. Ghana has about 720,000 cocoa farmers. What is the life of the cocoa farmers in Ghana like? Without normal housing, equipment, clean water or bathroom, they suffer from various health problems such as malaria, snake bites and a host diseases through water. Because children spend so much of their day doing agricultural works such as watching the drying of
cocoa beans, and their education suffers as well. Approximately one-third of children ages 6 to 17 who live in cocoa-producing house have never attended to school. What is their work like? The cocoa grows on small family farms. Most are about two or three hectare (this is the measurement) so the farmers will also grow some other food crops to feed their families. This is a bad news for the farmers, since they produce small amount of cocoa means they earn less. It is bad news for Ghana, since it depends on so hardly cocoa exports. And it is bad news for chocolate companies like Cadbury, since they buy a lot of Ghana’s high quality cocoa beans. “A recent survey showed that
the cocoa farms produce only 40% of what they could. The trees are getting old, and farmers often lack the information and resources that would help them to produce more. Cacao farming is a major source of earning for millions of farm families around the world.” ←This one website is explaining about the % of their producing cocoa. Cocoa farmers and their families are below the poverty line struggling to go over the line.
Where do cocoa farmers live? Most of them live at Kumasi which is a big city about five hours drive from the capital, Accra. They also live at Accra. How is cocoa produce? The cocoa grows on coco trees, also known as cocoa trees, planted in the shade of taller rainforest trees. The cocoa tree is a tropical plant grown in hot, rainy climates. Cocoa is raised from seed. Seeds will germinate and produce
good plants when taken from pods not more than 15 day unripe. They grow from the branches to branches as you see in the picture, and it needs perfect condition. Soil conditions, weather conditions…etc. So it’s really hard to care of. The tree’s fruit pods contain 30-40 seeds which are extracted, usually by big and sharp knife, before it fermented and dried in the sun, so it becomes cocoa beans. Cocoa is a weak crop affected by bad weather. A cocoa tree takes around five years to produce first beans and reaches climax in around 10 years. It will normally produce a large number of pods for 12 years. Do cocoa farmers get a fair deal? You can enjoy chocolate that makes you feel as good as it tastes. But cocoa farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to the people who fix the scales or lie about prices, and media reports show the empty contrast between the delicious treat and the difficult conditions of the people who produce it. Fair Trade has been proved that farmers receive a fair price. What difference Fair trade can make in the lives of Ghanaian cocoa farmers? Fair-trade gives a fair price for the farmers who grow the cocoa, so they can have enough to live on. For example, they can invest for their farms, school fees, medicine, doctor’s fees, transport and clothes, etc. In some case, money from fair-trade is used for development projects in developing countries or the countries where it needs help. Most cocoa growing countries are mostly in LEDC so they need more help for development which fair-trade can provide to them
How Fair-trade benefits farmers and their families. ďƒ˜ Most farmers grow cocoa on 3-4 hectares of land, with all their income. Few of them have access to health care, clean drinking water or electricity, and children are learning in schools. The extra income from the Fair-trade has helped to build hundreds of water faucet, public toilets, and two day-care centers. Conclusion ďƒ˜ In their daily lives, farmers are struggling with rising food prices, poor local basic facilities, lack of healthcare, and limited educational opportunities for their children. So what we can do is, switch to Fair-trade chocolate or keep enjoying Fair-trade chocolate if you already do, look for beauty products like cocoa butter body wash, lip balm and bath cream, which create new sales opportunities for cocoa growers, or write and ask your favorite chocolate company to switch to Fair-trade. There is more things that we can do, but some is limited. News about the Fair-Trade ďƒ˜ http://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/community/campaigns/campaignerswalk-for-fair-trade-1-4881114