The following is an excerpt from an article posted on Thomson Reuters Foundation PLACE. Follow the link for the full article.
By Nellie Peyton
NYAME NNAE, Ghana – Since Emmanuel Agyekum took over a decade ago as chief of Nyame Nnae, a poor cocoa farming village in western Ghana, people’s incomes have fallen and his worries have increased.
The cocoa trees planted behind wood-plank houses are getting old, and produce only a fraction of what they used to.
Last year, money ran out between harvest seasons and people struggled to buy food.
“The cocoa trees are dying and it is a worry to us all,” said Agyekum, sitting in a plastic chair in a dirt yard.
Cocoa yields are declining across Ghana, the world’s second-biggest producer after neighbouring Ivory Coast, where about 800,000 family farmers supply cocoa beans to chocolate companies such as Hershey’s and Nestle, according to the government.
In Nyame Nnae, The Hershey Company, cocoa supplier ECOM and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tested a possible solution.