Growing cocoa in the northern parts of Ghana is almost impossible because of the weather pattern there, arguably will not allow it.
But the harsh weather of the Upper East Region did not discourage 62-year-old, Apamsabilik Azurago, when he decided to go into cocoa farming at Zebilla in the Bawku West district.
Five years after venturing into this seemingly impossible adventure, Mr Azurago’s cocoa trees have managed to survive.
The 62-year-old farmer once visited his son who lives in the Ashanti Region and brought back with him, seven cocoa pods.
Apamsabilik’s father had in the past, tried to grow cocoa on this same field but failed because the trees eventually died.
But Apamsabilik was determined and succeeded where his father had failed.
“It was not easy in the beginning. I had to spend the nights here on the farm to prevent animals from chewing the young trees because the place was not fenced,” he said.
Starting with seeds from the seven cocoa pods he brought back with him from the Ashanti Region five years ago, Apamsabilik gradually expanded his farm and now has two acres of cocoa.
Dugout wells on the farm, provide water for the cocoa trees during the dry seasons.
So far, he has managed to harvest and sell only one bag of cocoa beans. But he is not discouraged. He told Joy News if he has been able to achieve this much without any help, he is confident he could expand the farm.
He believes more farmers in the area will be encouraged to go into cocoa farming if government provides the necessary support.
“If the government can help me with fertilizers and water pumping machines and also help me get a wire fencing around the farm, I can achieve more than what you see,” he told Joy News, adding that he believes cocoa can grow anywhere in Ghana.
Apamsabilik’s achievement perhaps is an indication that with the right feasibility studies and better farm practices, cocoa farming could become a commercial enterprise in the Upper East Region.