It’s just about 4 days away from Valentine’s day, what now has become themed, “Chocolate Day” in Ghana.
Various shapes and sizes of chocolate and cocoa products will dominate on the day, with loved ones sending gifts as expressions of love to their loved ones. Perhaps now is a good time to take some time to reflect, and refresh our memories about the true history behind the establishment of cocoa cultivation in Ghana.
Cocoa is undoubtedly one of Ghana’s priced commodities in today’s world, contributing massively to its exports.
History has it that Basel missionaries, introduced the crop into Ghana after the Dutch tried planting in the Coastal areas of the then Gold Coast.
None of these missionaries however, managed to establish a thriving farm that still yields fruits for Ghana several years on.
Tetteh Quarshie did, when he brought cocoa from his journeys in Fernando Po (now Equatorial Guinea). 140 years on, and Ghana is still reaping the fruit of his bravery and toil.
Interestingly, not only did he start a farm at age 34 in Mampong, but he also forged his own tools through his blacksmiths’ work which he used to maintain his farm.
Today, the farm is still in good shape and is producing bags of cocoa for the country.
This edition of People and Places brings to light all the facts about Tetteh Quarshie, which have been misconstrued over the years.
We delve into the story of a Ghanaian legend whose bravery brought Ghana one of its most cherished commodities today; Cocoa.