Civil Forum Initiative (C.F.I) collaborated with Eco-Care held a workshop with the media to discuss issues pertaining cocoa farmers in the country.
The program which took place at ERATA HOTEL in Accra brought some of the stakeholders also to share their thoughts.
In an interview with the Managing Campaigner for Eco-Care, Mr. Obed Owusu-Addai, he said “this is a program that Ghana and Ivory Coast entered into with about 32 Cocoa and Chocolate companies in 2017 which they signed a statement of intent in London under the auspices of His Royal Majesty, the prince of Wales, Prince Charles.”
The CFI basically seeks to tackle three thematic areas, thus Forest Restoration, Sustainable Crop Production and Inclusiveness.
According to Mr. Obed Owusu-Addai, it was realized that Cocoa production was really leading to forest loss and in Ghana and Ivory Coast, it is considered as the cause of deforestation so the Chocolate and Cocoa companies together with the governments of the two countries decided to put together actions that will mitigate and reduce the rate at which we are losing forest.
“One of the interventions introduced is to provide seedlings to farmers and also to ensure that farmers get benefit from trees that they nurture on their farms” he added.
Sustainability and productivity
Mr. Obed Owusu-Addai further said, “What the CFI seeks to do is the intensification we seek to minimize the dependence on large farms. Farmers are still expanding their farms but the CFI and research has shown that you can still get a lot of productivity from a small farm if you manage it well. So new and improved seedlings are being introduced to farmers, teaching them extension services that will let them get more produce from their small farms.”
The Inclusiveness (Farmer Right)
Under this, Mr. Owusu-Addai said they seek to get the farmers involved in the whole Cocoa value chain, so who gets to decide on the Pesticides and all those chemicals, farmers are involved.
“A while ago, Ghana and Ivory Coast came together to determine the flop price, this and many more were all under the auspices of the CFI and it is trying to coordinate the actions of Ghana and Ivory Coast to ensure that the Cocoa is produced sustainably and it doesn’t lead to destruction of forest” he added.
Story by: Kofi Dwumah/omy tv/Accra