Job boost for cocoa growing communities

BY: Maxwell Ocloo
Mr Ernest Dwamena (right), Country Manager, Touton Ghana, and Mr Gerald Guskowski (middle), Head of Programme, Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, GIZ, signing the contract documents. With them is Ms Audrey Lagauche, Global Cocoa Sustainability Manager, Touton Ghana. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Mr Ernest Dwamena (right), Country Manager, Touton Ghana, and Mr Gerald Guskowski (middle), Head of Programme, Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, GIZ, signing the contract documents. With them is Ms Audrey Lagauche, Global Cocoa Sustainability Manager, Touton Ghana. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has offered a grant of €727,500 to support young people within the cocoa growing communities in Ghana.

The funding is to help maximise the production and quality of cocoa beans.

The project, dubbed: “Cocoa Jobs for Organic Integration and Improved Rural Economy (CoFIE) Project”, is being implemented by a leading agro-industrial actor, Touton, to ensure the survival and the improvement of the cocoa industry in the country.

Invest for Jobs is the brand of the “Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation” implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), among others.

Cooperation

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at a ceremony between GIZ and Touton to affirm the cooperation between the two partners.

Launching the project in Accra, the Head of Programme, Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation at GIZ Ghana, Mr Gerald Guskowski, indicated that the project was intended to create 1,600 green jobs in the cocoa sector.

He said with the increasingly aging cocoa farmers and tree stocks in Ghana, there was the need to empower the young people to pick up key opportunities that the industry offered, to eventually take over from the older farmers.

“Improved employment opportunities within the cocoa subsector will ensure reduction in rural-urban migrations, improved incomes for the households leading to improved health while also empowering women and protecting the rights of children,” he added.

Opportunities

The Country Manager of Touton Ghana, Mr Ernest Dwamena, observed that there were a lot of opportunities along the cocoa value chain that people could exploit.

“Huge opportunities exist for youth and women to deliver on and off farm goods and services,” he said.