Meet Francis Nketiah, a purchasing clerk and cocoa farm owner from the Adiembra community in Ghana. He purchases cocoa beans from farmers on behalf of his company. Through his business, Francis has been able to benefit the farmers in his community by ensuring they have a steady market demand, and support his family by financing his brother’s education, for example. He dreams of becoming a prominent person in his community, and beyond.
Ghana’s agricultural sector makes up nearly 20% of the country’s GDP, and is the largest source of employment, creating jobs for nearly 800,000 households. Even though cocoa farming dominates Ghana’s agricultural industry, the country is producing below its full potential. This has been attributed to an ageing demographic of farmers who are dominating the industry, and youths not seeing farming as a sustainable source of income.
From 2016 to 2020, the MASO programme has been focused on creating employment opportunities for youth (aged 18-25) in Ghana’s cocoa communities. The programme worked to link young people to quality employment or start their own businesses in Ghana’s cocoa sector, and train young farmers and entrepreneurs to expand their cocoa-related business to create employment opportunities. MASO is part of the Youth Forward initiative, a partnership led by The MasterCard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Global Communities, Solidaridad, NCBACLUSA and GOAL.
Francis took part in MASO’s Cocoa Entrepreneur Development Incubator (CEDI) that trains youth in basic business skills to be successful in cocoa farming or cocoa-related entreprises.
Watch Francis’ story and hear about how his company is benefiting the community:
Read more about the MASO programme and how it contributed to the economic empowerment of young people in Ghana’s cocoa communities here.