Cocoa

In Ghana we grow a lot of it, and it has been a major industry here for more than a hundred years. The government gives a guaranteed fixed price to the farmers and all cocoa must be sold through the government – it is a major form of foreign exchange for Ghana. The problem is, like many big agricultural industries, the cocoa is increasingly being grown in monoculture plantations using new hybrid “high yielding” varieties.To achieve these high yields you need to use chemical fertilisers. The inevitable problems of pests, diseases and loss of soil fertility monoculture causes are being dealt with by the use of lots of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fungicides – all very bad for the health of the land, water and local people, and also an economic dead end for the farmers: all those chemicals are not cheap! Many chemicals that are banned elsewhere in the world are being sold and used here in Ghana.  Ultimately it is not sustainable and the ecosystems of the plantations will collapse leaving a desert.