Media General’s broadcast journalist, 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COCOBOD reacted to the story by engaging the farmers who later rescinded their decision of leasing out the farm to the miners.
Upon receipt of his award, Ibrahim Abubakar said: “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 discussions, and eventually compel decision-makers take steps to address this growing concern.”
Ibrahim, who was excited for the recognition, dedicated the award to his colleague and cameraman – Victor Opoku, who, according to Ibrahim, risked his life to make the story possible.
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.
The initiative is also to appreciate and highlight outstanding achievements by personalities and organisations in the cocoa value chain.