Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union has started a pilot project aim at  supplying bamboo bicycles to school children of cocoa farmers who walks  long distances to school. The project which also seeks to promote Kuapa  Kokoo farmers’ wards education is intended to be scaled to more school  children in the cocoa growing regions of Ghana after a successful  piloting. The project has been code-named “Kuapa Sukuu Sakrele”.

In  lieu of this, Kuapa Kokoo has donated 100 bamboo bicycles to school  children in 5 districts in the Western region of Ghana during the  programme launching at Dadieso – a district in the Western North region.

The  bicycles worth over $20,000 were manufactured by the Ghana Bamboo Bikes  Initiative and sponsored by Divine Chocolate Company – a U.K.  subsidiary company of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union.

The Executive  Secretary of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union Mr Appau Abrampah Mensah  delivering the welcome address appealed to the chiefs and the opinion  leaders in the beneficiaries’ communities to ensure that this project  succeeds. He emphasized that the project is meant to develop the  children’s interest in education and not to shift their interest and  focus on the bicycles at the expense of their education as the provision  of the bamboo bicycles only intends to enhance the children’s mobility  to and from school.

He enumerated some benefits that a farmer  receives upon becoming and selling his or her cocoa to Kuapa Kokoo  Limited – the trading wing of the Union. These includes; catering for  members health needs, good drinking water, non-formal education, extra  bonuses of GHȻ4.00 per bag sold to Kuapa, provision of machete yearly,  among others.

Mr Abrampah further explained that Kuapa is now  extending its tentacles to cover the farmers’ children who happen to be  the future of the industry and their communities. ”Thanks to Divine  Chocolate Company, this time round Kuapa Kokoo is focusing on the needs  of the children who are our future”.

Ms Bernice Dapaah the  Executive Director of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative a local bicycle  manufacturing company in Ghana in demonstrating the make-up and  effective usage of the bicycles to the children and the gathering also  used the occasion to tell the story behind the Ghana Bamboo bikes  success.She said the Ghana Bamboo Bikes have the capacity to manufacture  over 10,000 bikes each year and seeks to triple its production capacity  by next year when two new factories they are putting up is completed.Ms  Dapaah urged corporate Ghana to emulate the gesture of Kuapa Kookoo and  Divine Chocolate to support school children from deprived communities  in Ghana who walked several miles to and from school each day by  sponsoring the acquisition of high quality bamboo bicycles for them.She  said as part of her organization’s corporate social responsibility  program of promoting education and agriculture,the Ghana Bamboo Bikes  Initiative have instituted a matching funds with which it subsidized the  cost of production of bamboo bikes for school children and farmers from  deprived communities in Ghana and urged corporate bodies in Ghana to  take advantage of its offer which can also enhance their brand through  advertisement on the bamboo bikes.

Nana Armah Kofi III Kontihene  of Dadieso chaired the occasion. Nana applaud the initiative of Kuapa  Kokoo and Divine Company in thinking about children in rural areas who  walks long to distances to and from school which serve as dis-incentive  to learning.

Nana Armah Kofi was very impressed with the story of  Mrs Bernice Dapaah and admonished the school children present especially  the girl-child to emulate her shining example of  establishing owned  company rather than chasing after non-existing white collar jobs.

Present  at the occasion was the district education director, Mr Boitey Samuel.  He admonished parents to ensure that their wards take their education  very serious. Also present were; KKFU NEC members, the Quality Control  Officer for Dadieso – Mr Maxwell Boateng, the district chief farmer – Mr  Samuel Boadi, Chief Inspector Kpoye – Dadieso District Commander and Mr  Slyvester Sarkodie Miller –  Kuapa Kokoo District Manager.

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