To empower students of the SDA High School in Bekwai, Ashanti Region of Ghana, and promote sustainable farming practices, a special training session on artificial pollination was conducted for them.
Officers from the Bekwai District of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) provided insight into cocoa farming techniques and showed the importance of artificial or cocoa hand pollination in improving crop yield.
A total of 67 students, comprising 29 females and 38 males, enthusiastically participated in the training.
Additionally, three key teachers were also trained to ensure the dissemination of knowledge within the entire school community.
As part of the training sessions, the following teachers actively participated, namely Kusi Appiah, the Head of the Agriculture Department, Peter Bonsu, the Head of the Science Department, and Stephen Asare, the Agriculture Teacher.
I commenced the training programme by establishing the importance of cocoa to the livelihood of over 800,000 farming families as well as Ghana’s economy.
We discussed employment and entrepreneurship opportunities available along the entire cocoa value from pre-production, production, processing and manufacturing.
I emphasised the significance of artificial hand pollination innovation which was introduced by Cocobod to enable farmers to increase their crop yield per acre and ultimately improve their incomes.
Given the heavy reliance of farmers on the sale of cocoa beans for the livelihoods of their families, I underscored the critical role that sustainable cocoa farming practices play in driving the economic and environmental sustainability of the cocoa sector.
The training session took place on the 6.94-hectare cocoa farm of Baba Anarfo Sakpare at Boaman, a farming community near Bekwai in the Ashanti Region.
Oheneafrewo Bonsu, the District Extension Officer, and Evelyn Bobie, the District Rehabilitation Coordinator, led the team that trained the students on artificial pollination, along with eight other staff members.
The training sessions covered various aspects, such as the importance of pollination in cocoa farming, the techniques and practices involved in artificial pollination, and the role of the young generation in sustaining Ghana’s cocoa industry.
By actively engaging the students in hands-on demonstrations and practical exercises, the trainers aimed to instil a deep-rooted understanding of the importance of sustainable agricultural practices.
The students and their teachers gained invaluable knowledge about the optimal timing for pollination, the selection and use of high-quality pollination materials, and the careful application of pollination techniques to maximise cocoa yields.
Through interactive discussions and practical sessions, the students were able to grasp the intricacies of artificial pollination and its positive impact on increasing productivity and enhancing the quality of cocoa beans.
The successful implementation of this training programme has paved the way for a new generation of knowledgeable and skilled agriculturalists.
A significant step forward has been taken by CHED-COCOBOD, Bekwai District, by providing students and teachers with the necessary skill and practical experience for the promotion of sustainable cocoa farming practices and the long-term viability of Ghana’s cocoa industry.
The training concluded with me, Prince Kwadwo Amoako, the Bekwai District Cocoa Officer, expressing gratitude to the trainers and participants for their cooperation towards a successful knowledge-sharing session.
I reiterated the importance of continuous learning, innovation, and cooperation to drive the sustainable growth of Ghana’s cocoa sector.
With the acquisition of valuable skills and knowledge during this training session, the students and teachers of SDA High School are now better equipped to contribute to the development and sustainability of Ghana’s cocoa industry.
Their enthusiasm and commitment served as a testament to the bright future that lies ahead for cocoa production in Ghana.
The CHED-COCOBOD, Bekwai District, remains committed to fostering such initiatives to empower the youth and generate awareness around the importance of sustainable cocoa farming practices for the economic prosperity of the nation.
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