Journalists have been urged to intensify reportage on issues affecting the cocoa sector, Ghana’s largest foreign exchange earner, to ensure prompt action by stakeholders.
Mr Joseph Opoku Gakpo, the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), said cocoa was a major contributor to Ghana’s economy, hence the need to pay particular attention to the sector.
He said farmers, especially those in cocoa production, faced a myriad of challenges, which must be highlighted to ensure they received the needed attention and support.
Mr Gakpo was speaking at a cocoa advocacy training workshop at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality, organised by GARDJA for selected journalists in the Ashanti Region.
The training, which was in collaboration with SEND-Ghana, afforded participants and stakeholders the platform to discuss ways farmers could be supported to make cocoa production more sustainable.
Mr Gakpo expressed dissatisfaction at how some cocoa growing communities were poor despite the investments the COCOBOD was making towards ensuring their wellbeing.
He said GARDJA, with the main objective to ensure increased media focus on the agricultural sector, was poised to assisting journalists to project the cocoa sector to improve the living conditions of farmers.
Mr Gakpo said the Association would continue to organise more of such trainings and field trips for journalists in different parts of the country and resource them to file more cocoa-related stories.
Mr Nelson Kpodo-Tay, a Consultant, said cocoa farming was labour intensive and, therefore, the need to engage more energetic people to take up such tasks.
He urged the youth to go into cocoa farming, which is very lucrative, to help improve their incomes and increase cocoa production for the country.