Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ghana 2017 - Day 10. Sunday at home

Nothing to report. I worked on a paper until I got stuck for lack of information. Naturally I turned to Google for help, only to find out that I cannot connect to the internet. Rats!

I decided to take a break and go to the mall to shop for a couple of thank you presents for my gracious hosts here. I have no idea what would be a good present for Auntie Abigail and Claudia, and didn’t get a lot of great ideas after wandering through the mall. Maybe a board game?

I thought about catching a movie while I was at the mall, but Wonder Woman was not starting until 5 pm and I was not ready to wait for four hours. Maybe tomorrow.

Back in my room I found I still cannot connect to the internet. Curses! Fortunately I have a TV, so at least I can entertain myself with sports, music videos, or the news (guess what I chose). One of the news items referred to the cacao industry, which is facing a tough year ahead. First, the price per ton has fallen from US$ 3,500 to as low as US$ 2,000. The government is offering a subsidized price to the farmers of US$ 2,900, which should help, but is not quite what the farmers were expecting. Did you know that 75% of the cacao in the world is farmed in Africa, but the continent receives only 2% of the earnings? Most of the money is made by the chocolatiers. Clearly what Ghana needs to do is to process the cocoa beans themselves. In fact, there is one Ghanaian brand of chocolate; I have bought a couple of bars and it is not bad at all. I hope they eventually get to export the finished product. I also learned that cacao is a vine, and that in plantations the vines are kept off the ground by supporting them with poles. The cacao pod grows directly attached to the vine, like if it were a wart. I further learned that the farmers are asking for pesticides to fight some sort of caterpillar that likes to chew on the pods.

Ghana is very proud of its cocoa industry, and they consider it a good way to bring money into the country. As far as they are concerned this type of cash-crop is a good thing.

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