On April 20, 2021, a friend forwarded a message that was circulating on WhatsApp Messenger to me. It read as written below;

“This marks the beginning of the end of our cocoa industry. Some few months ago, a friend who studied in China told me about their cocoa development plan and the vast cocoa farms they are putting up using the greenhouse technology. They have projected that by 2030, they would sufficiently meet their cocoa consumption demands internally.

This means, they wouldn’t import from Africa anymore.

Come to think of it oo…, With the assistance of our own people, they have invaded our cocoa growing zones to irreversibly destroy our farms and contaminating our lands and water bodies in the name of mining.

They then turn around to brand our cocoa beans as cyanide contaminated in order to reject it. By that, other partners in Europe would also reject our cocoa beans in order to eventually dominate the market.

It’s sad that we are compromising the ability of future generations to survive in this country. Yet we look on”.

and here was my response…

“By the way I am not alarmed. Neither should you. The writer is the typical Ghanaian and/or African that is able to only see problems but never find ways to solve them. They raise alarms and leave without spelling out a strategy to solve the problem. They will then go and sit on the fence and blame “Government” forgetting their civic rights as citizens in a so-called democratic country. 3no ne y3n nn3! 😂

Greenhouse technology has been in existence since 1800. It was invented by a French botanist. After that, other technology-driven methods of farming like aquaponics have been discovered. Was it able to sweep away natural farming? Even in fish farming, was pond farming and aquaponics able to stop the fishermen from going to the sea?

The answer is NO

Produce from greenhouses and other technology-inspired ways of farming are not preferred to ones that come from natural sources. As the days go by, people are going in for more healthier food choices because they want to prolong their lives.

Greenhouse farming unfortunately does not give the world that luxury. Crops are grown within sheltered structures covered by a transparent, or partially transparent material. That way, plants do not get adequate natural light (sunlight) to aid photosynthesis, etc. That is why their prices on the market are way cheaper than the organically grown and harvested crops.

Let me ask you a question; Would you choose 24 hours air-condition over natural air and sunlight?

Technology has not beaten the forces of nature and will never do irrespective of the innovation. Even in robotics, research has found out that the productivity and precision are increased whist quality and longevity is compromised.

Meanwhile, with the right human effort, all four can be achieved at the same time. Remember, Man-made robots but the man didn’t make man. That is why hand-made cars are still more expensive than cars made by robots. I can’t mention brands here… lol but we all know… lol.

To draw some positives out of the writer’s sentiments, Ghana can partially invest in greenhouse farming but, If I were to advise the authorities, I’d suggest they shouldn’t pay more than 20 per cent attention to that.

That type of farming is for places where there is no constant rain and sunshine all-year. Ghana is favoured to be in the tropics. We have the singular opportunity alongside Ivory Coast to keep the authenticity of the cocoa produce- to keep our rank as two of the top producers of the “original” specimen.

The most important thing is to increase productivity by expanding farmlands using the right farming technology and modern farm practices- so that we can increase productivity and beat the competition. There are a lot of lands that lay bare. With that move from China, it’s time to look into serious expansion.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we need to waste time panicking when solutions abound? Let’s discuss.