Mobile phone technology has boosted the way business is conducted throughout the world.
Today, those who otherwise would have taken transportation, be it by road, air or rail, to deliver messages do so quickly through the power of telephony.
Transfering money to children and relatives and paying bills can also be done through mobile telephony. Mobile telephony is also being used to reduce maternal mortality in some districts in the country.
The advent of mobile telephony has also opened up job opportunities for Ghanaians across the length and breadth of the country through the sale of call cards and mobile phones and the opening of call centres.
Our cocoa farmers are the latest to benefit from this power of telephony with the Cocoalink project by which messages on improved cocoa production techniques, child labour, crop disease prevention and marketing are delivered to them in their native languages and/or English.
Ghana was one time the leading producer of cocoa in the world but the turbulence of the 1980s and the fire outbreaks dashed that status.
Since then, various governments have pursued diversified programmes with the view to boosting our cocoa yields. In spite of the challenges, the prices of cocoa have always increased, while cocoa spraying and other interventions have been instituted to enable the country to assume its rightful position on the cocoa market.
At a time when every effort is being made for the country to assume its rightful place as not only the home of best quality cocoa but also the world’s leading producer of the crop, we believe the initiative by Hershey Company of the USA, the Ghana Cocoa Board and the World Cocoa Foundation needs commendation.
We are gladdened by the fact that after piloting the project in 15 communities in the Western Region, it is to be scaled up to benefit about 100,000 cocoa farmers in the country by 2014.
These initiatives should be welcome news to our youth in particular because most of them refuse moving into the agricultural sector as a result of the perceived drudgery often associated with the sector. But times are changing and many educated persons are engaged in large-scale agricultural production today.
It is our hope that the introduction of such a technology into the agricultural sector is not only commendable but should also be encouraged to attract more people into the sector to boost cocoa production and for cocoa to remain the mainstay of the economy.
The increase in crop yield as a result of some of these technological developments will certainly help the country out of any food crisis in the near future.