Kuapa Kokoo launches 20th anniversary

Members and workers of Kuapa Kokoo on the 14th of January, 2014 launched their year-long 20th anniversary celebrations at Sefwi Wioso in the Western Region of Ghana. 

Members and workers of Kuapa Kokoo on the 14th of January, 2014 launched their year-long 20th anniversary celebrations at Sefwi Wioso in the Western Region of Ghana. The President of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU), members of the National Executive Council (NEC), the MD of KKL, management, and staff of Kuapa Kokoo all converged at the Wioso Training College (WATECO ) to launch their 20th anniversary with the topic; “TWENTY YEARS OF EMPOWERING SMALLHOLDER COCOA FARMERS: KUAPA’S UNIQUE ACHIEVEMENT” as the theme.  

Members and workers of Kuapa Kokoo on the 14th of January, 2014 launched their year-long 20th anniversary celebrations at Sefwi Wioso in the Western Region of Ghana. The President of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU), members of the National Executive Council (NEC), the MD of KKL, management, and staff of Kuapa Kokoo all converged at the Wioso Training College (WATECO ) to launch their 20th anniversary with the topic; “TWENTY YEARS OF EMPOWERING SMALLHOLDER COCOA FARMERS: KUAPA’S UNIQUE ACHIEVEMENT” as the theme.  

The ceremony was graced by personalities such as; The head of Sefwi-Wiowso traditional council  Nana Nkoa of Bosomoiso,  Mr L.A Santana;MCE of Sefwi Wioso, and Mr Maxwell Osei Boadu, Quality Control Officer of Cocobod. Also in attendance were the effervescent and cheerful farmers of Kuapa Kokoo coming from all over the country.

Madam Fatima Ali, president of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union lauded members and staff of Kuapa Kokoo for their enormous support to the organisation over the years.

The president of KKFU in her speech recalled how the organization was established. She explained that twenty years ago, Nana Frimpong Abebrese II and five other colleague farmers had the vision of assembling small scale cocoa producers to own their organization. The idea was to let the farmers have a voice in the cocoa industry as well as their future livelihood.

According to the KKFU president, Kuapa Kokoo is reckoned as the biggest cocoa farmers’ cooperative organization in Ghana and Africa with over 85,000 members spread across the Ashanti, Western, Central, Eastern and the Brong-Ahafo regions. She continued that Kuapa also happens to be the pioneering Fairtrade farmer based organization in Africa.

‘’Yes, Kuapa Kokoo belongs to us farmers. It is an organization in which the farmers take their own decisions and see to its implementation. Kuapa members are part of a democratic organization in which we elect and can stand for positions at society, district and national levels.” She boasted of Kuapa’s democratic tenets.

She also stated that some of the success chalked by the organisation over the years included establishment of 8 schools, 19 boreholes, 350 hand dug wells, 19 bore holes, 7 toilets facilities, 56 corn mills and also trained over 60 women groups numbering 586 women in leadership and skill training in 22 districts.

Madam Fatima reminded the gathering that the twenty years of Kuapa has not been all rosy and glowing but it has been through members’ determination, diligence and the tacit support and contributions of its major partners that has seen Kuapa recording such unique achievements acknowledged worldwide.

Mr Emmanuel Arthur; Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo Company Limited in his address enumerated other unique achievements chalked by Kuapa and what the company plans to do in the future. He said “Kuapa Kokoo as an organisation has certain projects it undertakes which makes it unique from all other cocoa buying organizations.”

Mr Arthur emphasized that Kuapa Kokoo has a Child Labour department at KKFU whose main aim is to stop parents from engaging children in hazardous work in the cocoa growing communities. The department promotes and advocates the importance of educating children through sensitization and awareness creation at the community level with the use of the following tools: posters on permissible and hazardous child labour/worst forms of child labour activities, playing of recorded jingles and child development issues in 7 different forms, film shows on child labour and many more which cannot be enumerated.

It is through these relentless efforts of Kuapa Kokoo to combat child labour that they gained international recognition from ILO, a world body in fighting unconventional labour issues globally. The ILO has partnered Kuapa since 2010 in its fight against child labour.

The KKL Managing Director who also acts as the Executive Director of KKFU during his address spelt out the direction the organization would be focusing on in the years ahead. He said as the biggest farmer-owned organization in Africa, Kuapa Kokoo will be reviewing and refining what it has been doing over the last 20 years and see to it that the farmers who constitute the shareholders derived maximum profit from their toils.

He was of the view that the farmers would benefit more from the organization in the coming years when the organization expands and serves as employment avenues for their qualified children and wards.

The District Quality Control officer for Sefwi-Wiowso, Mr Maxwell Osei Boadu showered praises on Kuapa Kokoo farmers for adopting best practices in cocoa drying and fermentation.  He added that current figures of cocoa purchased so far per  Cocobod records indicates that Kuapa has purchased more cocoa than that of last year and also lauded Kuapa for using innovative ways including radio in reaching out to their farmers.   

 Nana Nkoa of Bosomoiso was happy to receive Kuapa to his area. Nana praised Kuapa for establishing projects like boreholes in his area. According to Nana Nkoa this has contributed to the people in the area having access to safe drinking water.   

The programme was preceded by road show which saw Kuapa members and staff dancing to brass band music through the principal street of Sefwi-Wiowso. There was also side attraction of photo exhibition showcasing Kuapa’s achievement during the twenty years.