Adam’s Story

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“I would say farmers are the pillar of this country. Where does food come from? From our farms. Our leaders should put their heads together and see farming as the future.”

I’m Adam Yakubu and I’m a cocoa farmer. I am 33 years old with a family of three. I have a farm of about five acres, which I work on with four labourers.

After my education I decided to work with my father because I wanted to become a cocoa producer. I want to become one of the best cocoa producers in Ghana.

Firstly you have to put the seeds in the ground for two weeks to generate. You have to weed around them, and apply insecticide; otherwise pests will kill the seedlings.

They need to grow for 3-4 years before they start bear fruit. Then it will take several months until it is ripe for you to harvest.

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I have four acres of cocoa plants, which I have to harvest about 12 boxes of cocoa from at the end of the year. If I don’t get that quantity, I have to go to my creditors and negotiate with them.

Aside from cocoa, I also grow cassava, plantains, yam and tomatoes. So sometimes I have to harvest cassava to sell, and if I told you the amount of money it involves, you would laugh.

The transportation system is very bad. You will harvest your product and it will stay at the roadside for a week. Sometimes the food rots before it gets to the market. And when you get to the market, the pricing kills our soul.

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It’s not easy. You don’t get income daily, sometimes it’s a yearly affair. Sometimes you have to go on borrowing so before production begins you are already in debt.

But we are managing.

I would say farmers are the pillar of this country. Where does food come from? From our farms.  Farmers should be recognised for their work by their society. Every economic activity yields something – for a family, for a community, for a nation, for the world.

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The government should pay more attention to farmers. Sometimes you watch television and you see nice, beautiful offices where big meetings are being held about various industries. But when you go to communities where farming is done, we don’t have such meetings. After my day’s work, I just go to bed. Sometimes I can’t even listen to news to know what is going on.

Our leaders should put their heads together and see farming as the future. And if farming is the future, what are the best ways that we can build it?

Sometimes we need education. Sometimes we need farm inputs. But when you come to our local area, the inputs are not there – no electricity, no good access to roads, no farming inputs.

We are all planning to evacuate to the urban centers. But the land will be lying there, crying for workers and the cities will be crying for people to leave them because they will be stressed.

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But every day we go to farm, we go to work. Because looking at what I have planted, I will not let it spoil. Often at the end of the day my yield brings nothing home. I have toiled the whole day but there is nothing good for us to have. I have toiled the whole year but there is nothing tangible to lay my hand on.  Farmers we are at lost, but still we stand up.

You see I am always proud to be a farmer.

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