Review from ROAPE Volume 4 Number 8
Organising the Farmers: Cocoa Politics (Beckman)

Organising the Farmers: Cocoa Politics and National Development in Ghana by Björn Beckman
Vol.4 No.8 (Spring 1977), pp127-130
This is a serious work; serious partly because it is concerned with a serious theme - the politics of cocoa, at the same time the main source of Ghana's colonial and post-colonial dependence, the source of the revenues by means of which the regime tried to overcome this dependence and an important determinant of class structure and relationships. Moreover the book asks a number of serious, historically significant questions, avoiding the dogmatism, the moralising, the personalisation of forces and movements, that has infected much that has been written about this phase of history. To answer, or help to answer, these questions Björn Beckman was fortunate to have access to a rich body of primary material, the records of the United Ghana Farmers' Council, the farmers' wing of the Convention People's Party, while letters, memoranda, etc., submitted to the 1966-7 de Graft Johnson Committee of Enquiry on the Local Purchasing of Cocoa (reflecting, naturally, approved post-coup attitudes) provided a useful subsidiary source. As an intelligent and perceptive research-worker who spent four years, from 1967 to 1971, in Ghana he is able to reproduce some of the flavour of Ghanaian politics in the epoch of Nkrumah - as in this quotation from the minutes of a meeting of the UGFC's senior staff, Koforidua, on 2 March 1964: