POSTED 22nd May 2019

Christiana Adusei has been a cocoa farmer since 1993. She joined Kuapa Kokoo with her husband in 2002. She is from Western Region, and her society is New Agogo in the Asempanaye district. Her farm is approximately 13 acres, and she produces 33 bags per year of cocoa. She has seven children, four boys and three girls. One of her children, now in her 40's, is a farmer who started farming cocoa with her husband around 2013 in Central Region.

She joined Kuapa because she heard from other farmers that the organisation was democratic and fair. She also heard that farmers received bonuses and a cutlass, which among cocoa farmers is a most prized tool.

In the early 2000s, Christiana started as the Secretary to the village Recorder. [A Recorder is a highly respected role that is of vital importance to the structure and organisation of Kuapa Kokoo. Only those who are trusted across the community and are fellow farmers are elected to take on the role of a Recorder which involves accurately weighing the cocoa and paying farmers the correct price accordingly.]

Around that same time, she also started training farmers to dry and ferment their cocoa properly so that it met Kuapa's standards of good cocoa. "I saw that I was a good teacher and that I could keep good records, so I decided that I should become a Recorder myself."

At the elections she stood against the incumbent Recorder, a man, and won. "Kuapa trained me to know that as a woman I could be a Recorder and that I could be a leader in my society." Even though there isn't a women's group in her village, she and other women still benefit from regional women's empowerment trainings offered by Kuapa's Gender Program.

Cocoa farming is hard work. In order to earn extra income, Christiana raises grasscutters, a large rodent prized for its delicious high protein meat. At the time of her interview in 2013, her youngest child was still in school, and Christiana wanted to help her finish her education -- the extra income helps.

"I hope she will become a nurse and get a good job so she can help me in the future."