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Media General’s Ibrahim Abubakar has been adjudged ‘Journalist of the Year’ at the fourth edition of the Ghana Cocoa Awards.

His story on “Cocoa farmer leases part of his farm to illegal miners” was selected as the best cocoa report of the year.

The report highlighted some challenges cocoa farmers face and how they’re leasing out their farms to illegal miners.

COCOBOD reacted to the story by engaging the farmers who later rescinded their decision of leasing out the farm to the miners.

“Cocoa is Ghana’s chief agricultural export and for me anything that affects its production or otherwise must be of interest to every Ghanaian. Hence, our decision to dig deep on why some cocoa farmers are turning their farmland into a gold mining site.

“I didn’t have in mind winning an award with the story. The focus was to tell the story in a way that will set the tone for national discussion and eventually compel decision-makers take step to address this growing concern”.

“I’m excited for the recognition and I dedicate this award to my cameraman, Victor Opoku, who at a point in time had to risk his life to make the story possible”, said Ibrahim.

More than thirty organisations and individuals were confirmed as finalists in the competitive categories, and three other personalities accorded honorary awards.

The fourth annual Ghana Cocoa Awards was organised under the auspices of the industry regulator, Ghana Cocoa Board.

The media segment of the award recognises a journalist who has demonstrated consistency and depth in reporting on issues on the Ghana cocoa industry value chain.

Multimedia journalist, Justice Baidoo won the maiden edition of the awards followed by Kwetey Nartey also with Multimedia.

The third edition was on by GBC broadcast journalist, Nana Akua Oforiwaa.

The initiative is also to appreciate and highlight outstanding achievements by personalities and organisations in the cocoa value chain.

The award categories cut across production, sustainability, internal marketing, technology and innovation, haulage and logistics, processing, manufacturing, artisanal value addition, consumption promotion, tourism and media.

Others are Company, Business Leader and Entrepreneur of the Year categories, brands of the year, cocoa financing institution and insurance, Shipping, Lifetime Achievement and Woman of Excellence award categories.