African Cocoa Agroforestry Competition Launched In 3 Countries
The African Cocoa Platform (AfCOP) has unveiled a new competition seeking to promote agroforestry and other sustainable practices in cocoa farming.
Cocoa farmers from the three-member countries of the organisation, namely Ghana, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire who ensure environmentally sustainable practices including the inclusion of agroforestry ecosystems in their farming will win an all-expenses-paid study visit to Cameroon later in the year, whereas Cameroon winners will receive vouchers for farm input.
Two winners each will be selected from all three participating countries.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the maiden edition of the Cocoa Agroforestry Competition on Tuesday, an official of Ghana Cocoa Board, Eric Amengor, said the new award scheme will serve as an incentive to grow cocoa in sustainable ways in the participating countries.
He said by practising agroforestry in cocoa farming, the resilience of the cocoa plants is strengthened.
According to him, agroforestry in cocoa plantations conserves biodiversity, stimulates rainfall and helps in pest control measures.
The competition, he said, falls in line with the ongoing Ghana Forest Investment Programme and therefore pledged the commitment of the cocoa regulatory body in Ghana for the contest.
Officials from national cocoa sector regulatory authorities from Cameroun and Cote d’Ivoire congratulated the African Cocoa Platform for introducing the competition.
Interested farmers must have a cocoa farm or plantation in one of the 3 countries to make entries between 16th May and 27th June.
Organisers are expected to soon announce the application procedure through various media platforms in all three countries.
Entries will be evaluated by a team of consultants in July and the Awards ceremony is expected to take place in August this year.
The Ghana Focal Person for the African Cocoa Platform, Festus Kwame Kwadzokpo expressed the hope the competition will promote exchanges and best practices among cocoa sector players in the 3 countries. The competition will run in all three countries simultaneously.
AfCOP is a multi-stakeholder platform initiated in 2018 by Cocoa value chain actors from Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo to promote knowledge exchange, transfer of innovations and partnerships.
It is funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ.