Ghana’s contemporary international music icon, Stonebwoy, has hinted that he is adding farming to his occupation.
Stonebwoy was crowned the brand ambassador for “Maso,’’ a programme to get over 80,000 youth in cocoa growing areas in the country to go into cocoa cultivation.
He told the enthusiastic youth that he decided to associate himself with ‘Maso’ because it empowers the youth and serves as a catalyst for change in the cocoa sector by making cocoa farming an attractive business for the youth in cocoa growing communities.
After bringing the entire town to a standstill when information went viral that he was at the venue, it took the organisers of the programme, Solidaridad, about 30 minutes to get the nearly 500 youth, representing the 80,000 to settle for the programme.
The programme is a collaboration between Solidaridad and COCOBOD with financial support from Mastercard of Canada, Ashesi University of Ghana and Aflotoun in charge of education; while Fidelity Bank is the financial service provider.
Both the young and old, including the personalities on the high table could not help but take selfies with the icon. They included West African Director of Solidaridad, Mr W Isaac Gyemfi, and the Regional Director of Cocoa Health and extension Services, Mrs Faustina Asamani.
According to Stonebwoy, he had turned down many mouth-watering and very lucrative offers to be brand ambassador from different organisations and products but accepted that of Maso . The five-year project aims at ensuring that the youth within the ages of 18 and 25 become productive and earn decent revenue from farming to replace the ageing population of cocoa farmers and increase cocoa production in the country.
Maso, which means to lift in twi, is a project which commenced in Ghana in January this year and formed just part of the $74 million-programme being executed in Ghana and Uganda to train and help the youth to transit into sustainable jobs in these two countries.
Stonebwoy is the brand ambassador for only the cocoa cultivation in Ghana.
Addressing the youth, most of whom were on their feet and using their phones to record and take shots of the icon, Stonebwoy provided statistics about economics and cocoa production when he said cocoa was Ghana’s largest agricultural activity accounting for eight per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).