I’ve just been over to Ghana to attend the Divine UK and Divine USA board meetings at Kuapa Kokoo HQ in Kumasi. I was travelling with other Board members, and our new Finance Director David Upton and new Chair Patrick Fleming, who were travelling to Ghana and being introduced to Kuapa Kokoo for the first time.
On our way up to Kumasi from Accra, we visited Kukurantumi, a village near Suhum. We were given a wonderful welcome from the Kuapa Kokoo society there – the womens’ groups sang songs about democracy and Kuapa, and showed us their soap-making project. It was also a chance for David to see the cocoa fermentation process for the first time. Everyone gathered under the shade of the cocoa trees and we all introduced ourselves and had an interesting question and answer session where we all found out a lot about each other.
I asked how many members they had and the Secretary George Ofori said 200, who delivered 500 sacks of cocoa in 2009/10. We met the society President MO Aboagye, and many others included AK Agyeman and Kwaku Ofori Ofosu-Apea.
I sat and talked to Grace Osei (65), president of the Women’s Society which has 32 members. She has two cocoa farms 7 acres and 13 acres delivering 15 sacks of cocoa, and has nine children between 17 and 45 and nine grandchildren. She has been a member of Kuapa for 13 years and attended the AGM in 2010 as a delegate. She talked about how last year’s crop wasn’t as good as usual and she wants to make sure she gets one of the machetes that Kuapa is giving farmers.
Augustine Kusi, the Recorder at Ntinako, took us to his cocoa farm. He told us about a hybrid that bears fruit quickly called “Akokora Bedi” which translates as “An old man will chop”. Back at the Society office, the posters that Kuapa has produced as part of its Child Labour Awareness Programme were in full view pasted on the front of the society shed.