Livingstone Etse Satekla, known in showbiz as Stonebwoy is rallying young people across the country to go into the production of cocoa as a means earning a decent livelihood for themselves.
According to the dancehall sensation, the cocoa sector which is one of the biggest exports earners of Ghana, risks extinction due to the aging numbers of farmers, hence the need to whip up the interest of the youth to take up the venture.
He was speaking to journalists at a durbar at Akorme-Gbota in the Ho West district of the Volta region, where he interacted with beneficiaries of MASO, an initiative of Solidaridad aimed at empowering and grooming young people between ages 18-25 years in cocoa growing communities to make the cultivation of the cash crop, an economic career choice.
Stonebwoy who is the MASO ambassador said it behooves on the youth to sustain the ancient legacy, through the use of technological innovations to transform the cocoa sector, which would among other things curb the increasing Rural-Urban drift.
“The MASO initiative is a good way of employing the youth who don’t have to go to the cities in search of greener pastures. They say the devil finds work for the idle hands. We all do not have to travel to Accra to work. Those of us in the cocoa areas should own a farm as a business and you will find out that the economy will thrive,” the two-time BET nominee noted.
He added “We all have a role to play in cocoa farming so that the legacy of our fore parents doesn’t die off, where the same farming will be left in the hands of (the same) elderly persons. The youths have more energy and even in these technological times, the youths have more knowledge in making things work easily. We the youths have to get involved; and with the help of Solidaridad as the mother of the MASO initiative, I deem it very important to align myself with this project.”
The MASO initiative, which is a 5-year project, engages about 4,700 young people in selected districts across five regions of Ghana including the Hohoe municipality, Ho West and Afadjato South districts in the Volta Region.
It is also part of the Youth Forward Initiative (YFI) which is a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Global Communities, Solidaridad, NCBA-CLUSA and GOAL.