The Cocoa Farmer’s Day: The Heartbeat of Resilience, Unity, and the Beauty of Cocoa

11 of Jul 2023

Takyikrom, a village in the Ashanti region of Ghana, is a place positively beckoning for exploration; the lush cocoa plantations and forests set against the backdrop of jagged mountains are simultaneously breathing and peaceful, stimulating the senses and soothing the soul. It is the very embodiment of the resilience and beauty of Ghana’s rural life.

  • The quintessential farmer, Agya Fosu, wakes up in the sun’s early rays, embracing the days he knows will be filled with hard work, dedication, and fulfillment. After a traditional breakfast of banku or kenkey, traditional Ghanaian dishes of [substance?], which will supply him the energy he needs for the day, he and his aides embark on their journey to take them to their farm nestled in the mountains of Takyikrom.

    The walk allows Mr. Fosu to feel nature’s heartbeat under his feet; it is not just a walk to work: it’s an intimate engagement with the beauty of the planet that sustains us.

    At the plantation, he is filled with pride: cocoa is the heart of Takyikrom’s agriculture and well-being, and he takes pride in taking care of his trees which will bring the crops of cocoa, which is the lifeblood of him and his family, and thousands more farmers just like him. With great and deliberate care, the farmer ensures that each tree gets the right amount of sunlight, of water, of nutrients. All natural, no artificial fertilisers or pesticides are used. He is allowed to be proud: Ghana is the flavour of chocolate and the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world.

  • The afternoon sun is scorching, but the farmer endures and ignores the elements. The weather pays no mind to opinion or preference, and no matter what the weather gods of Thor, Zeus, or Jupiter may deliver, he needs to preserve. He needs his trees to flourish.

    With the sun at its peak, the farmer takes a brief midday respite from the heat and returns to the village for a freshly prepared afternoon meal. Along with his loved ones, he shares a moment of nourishment and reflection and replenishes his energy for the afternoon session. He feels a deep satisfaction: the literal fruit of his labour sustains him and his family, his community. His people. It’s time to get back to work. He returns hours later as the sun throws long shadows on the ground, the heat of the day cooled by the twilight breeze rustling through the forest canopy.

    Mr. Fosu is exhausted but fulfilled because he knows his work is not just for him and his community: Through his humble efforts; the farmer helps sustain Ghana’s economy, allowing it to share its bounty with the world. Who knows: Queens and princes, warriors and connoisseurs all over the world may eat chocolate made from the beans he grows on his farm. It is a noble cause which gives billions of people great enjoyment. This brings a sense of unity to the diverse communities of Ghana; cocoa builds bridges across the ravines between cultures and nations.

    The farmer in Takyikrom is a person to be celebrated; his dedication nourishes us, sustains economies, and reminds us of the power and unity to be found when communities work together.
    And brings us damn fine cocoa.

    By: Divine Buadoo

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