MMANIAYE, GHANA, 2011. A cocoa farmer with a large harvest. Note the fatness of the beans—typical of Ghana, where the government invests in pesticides and fungicides that keep the cocoa pods fat and healthy. West Africans construct bamboo platforms and weave these mats. The cocoa is spread out to dry. If it starts to rain, they simply fold the edges of the mat over and cover it with banana leaves and sticks and stones. This is usually the responsibility of children. The beans are dried to 7% moisture. The LBCs or Licensed Buying Companies pay according to moisture content, so it is smart for cocoa farmers to fully dry their beans. PH&F has distributed dryness meters ($600 each) to villages, and the four villages that received them have greatly benefited from the increased knowledge.
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