First post from Swedish graduate Emilie Persson:
Welcome to my posts from Assin Akonfudi!
I will try to capture some of the everyday activities from one of the many villages where the Kuapa Kokoo farmers live and where farmer grow the cocoa for the company they co-own – Divine. As a masters-graduate in global studies, from the University of Gothenburg in western Sweden, I’ve been given an exciting opportunity to spend two months in the Ghanaian countryside, more exactly Assin Akonfudi in the central region. Having a passionate interest for development and agriculture and with several years of experience advocating Fairtrade in Sweden, it’s great to be able to get a more in-depth insight into the lives of the farmers behind Divine. I hope it will be as interesting for you too!
Assin Akonfudi is situated in the north of the central region, close to the district capital Assin Bereku, on the main road from Cape Coast to Kumasi. The village is a mixed community with people of the ewe, fanti and ga tribes as well as others from the northern part of the country. According to the last census Akonfudi has around 2600 residents, some being very spiritual and enjoying spending their time in any of the twenty-three (!) churches or two mosques that the village holds, and traditional beliefs are also common. Surrounding Akonfudi are farmlands and it’s very common to grow cocoa, but also oil palm, orange, coconuts, coffee and teak. It is also very popular to use part of the farmland for banana or vegetables like tomato, pepper and garden eggs. Grazing around freely are plenty of goats, sheep, chickens and dogs, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and music can always be heard from every house.
The Kuapa Kokoo society in Akonfudi has been in place since 2007 and it has at the moment 23 members, out of which eight are women. In some of the coming blog posts we will join Kuapa’s recorder in Akonfudi – John Dornu. He himself is a cocoa farmer and has been democratically elected by Kuapa members. John is in charge of collecting and paying for the cocoa from the members. We will join him at his farm to learn more about the complicated process of producing cocoa and all the steps involved.
In the picture below, I’m visiting the village Worakese Adabo, where Frank Arthur is the Kuapa Kokoo recorder.