The Ghana COCOBOD on Wednesday launched the 2019 Ghana Cocoa Day with its corresponding activities aimed at taking stock of happenings in the sector and forecasting the way forward.
The 2019 Cocoa Day, which will be observed in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, is on the theme: "Sustainable Cocoa Production for Health and Wealth". The occasion will be crowned with a grand durbar on October 1.
As part of activities ahead of marking the day, there will be a health talk with the Muslim Community in Sunyani and a health walk across the principal street of the host town on September 27 and 28 respectively.
There will be the opening of exhibition on Saturday, September 28, at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani to enable stakeholders to sell farm inputs to farmers in the region.
A Youth Forum on Cocoa, to expose the youth to the numerous opportunities in the sector would also be held to encourage them to take advantage of the positive fortunes in farming.
There will also be a "night time" with the National Best Cocoa Farmers on September 30, to celebrate them and interact with them towards advancing the cocoa sector in the country.
In his address, Dr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, said the day's observation would serve as a platform to celebrate the efforts of cocoa farmers and roles of stakeholders towards a sustainable cocoa sector.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would announce the new cocoa price for Ghanaian cocoa farmers on the Day.
Dr Aidoo said the cocoa sector was undergoing transformation, adding that, the Cocoa Day would enable all to see how the transformation would increase the benefits of the Ghanaian farmer and the country at large.
He said Sunyani was chosen to host this year's event because over the past 25years, the Brong Ahafo Region had produced 11 National Best Cocoa Farmers out of which eight were still alive.
Dr Aidoo said the region also has one of the best three cocoa districts in the country, thus the Goaso Cocoa Districts, adding that, there was the need for stakeholders to throw their weight behind the observation of Day.
He urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage on issues pertaining to the sector because it was a sensitive area that needed to be handled well.
On his part, Nana Johnson Mensah, the Western South Regional Chief Farmer and a Board Member of COCOBOD urged the youth to venture into agriculture because it was very lucrative sector.
Nana Mensah, who has been a farmer for more than 38 years, said there had never been a moment of regret as a cocoa farmer.
He said it was important for the youth of the country to focus on the sector to save it from deteriorating, as many of the cocoa farmers were now becoming old and weak to remain major players.