Because of financial constraints at home, Benjamin (32) and Evans (30) couldn’t continue their formal education beyond junior high school. They had to help sustain their respective families by supporting their parents on the farm. That’s how they both learned to grow cocoa.

The two young men are cousins from Kokoteasua, one of several hamlets surrounding Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana.


A rewarding decision


In 2010, their extended family decided to clear over-aged cocoa trees on two plots of farmland. These young men saw an opportunity to become successful cocoa farmers. They got permission to start the farms afresh, intercropping cocoa with cocoyam, cassava, plantain, and banana. To provide a protective forest environment for their young cocoa plants, they introduced shade trees into the plantation.


Two young Ghanaian men, Benjamin and Evans, stand with a cocoa tree on their farm in Ghana.

Benjamin & Evans taking care of their cocoa trees in Ghana; photo by Benjamin Setor


Twelve years later, Benjamin and Evans have both been crowned – multiple times – Best Youth Farmers during the Annual General Meetings of ABOCFA – the cooperative that supplies cocoa beans for Ghana Gold. 


Leading on best practices


Both young men have a deep appreciation of best practices for growing organic cocoa, and they commit to executing them. Benjamin, for instance, visits his farm routinely to inspect for suckers that must be pruned, pods being attacked by pests, or trees that need stakes to grow straight.

His visits keep his trees in good health, and he averages 15 bags (960 kg / 2,112 lbs) from his 2-acre farm. This success saw him named, once again in 2022, one of the best youth farmers of ABOCFA. 

With your support, MIA is able to support young farmers like Benjamin and Evans, and help them earn more from doing the work they love to do.