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Voice of Cocoa

Conservation Alliance Urges Adoption of Integrated Management Systems

Conservation Alliance International has joined forces with the Rainforest Alliance, an esteemed international non-profit organisation, to bolster farmer groups and their communities in tackling broader landscape issues through the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) across their diverse farms.

The Liaison Lead for the project, Raymond Owusu Achiaw, addressed a gathering of over 30 farmers from the Conservation Cocoa Association at the inaugural meeting held in Twifo Afeaso, Central Region.

He elucidated the objectives of the “Strengthening the Traceability, Accountability, and Resilience of Farmer Groups (STAR) project,” emphasising its focus on two pivotal aspects of sustainable cocoa production in Ghana: Geodata and Landscape approaches.

Achiaw outlined that by mid-2024, all members of targeted farmer groups will possess farm geodata, with an ambitious target of 70% of these farmers adopting certification linked to Rainforest Alliance standards.

He underscored that the project, through initiatives such as farm data collection and a dedicated geodatabase, aims to empower 30 selected farmers in Ghana’s Kakum Landscape to embrace Integrated Management Systems (IMS) conducive to achieving certification.

“In addition to promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), our project will equip farmers with essential business skills through the SMART approach, encouraging them to perceive farming as a viable business venture,” Achiaw remarked.

The Field Co-implementation Lead, Ama Akyema Sasu, outlined the project’s phased approach, beginning with identifying knowledge gaps and subsequently bridging them through farmer field school training.

Sasu stressed the project’s dual goals of enhancing the net yields and increasing the net income of farmer group members in the targeted communities.

The Field Implementation Lead for the Conservation Cocoa Association, Ebenezer Darko, expressed optimism and highlighted the significance of forging formal relationships with esteemed international organisations like the Rainforest Alliance.

He expressed hope that such partnerships would facilitate the effective implementation of Good Agricultural Practices within their communities.

Darko concluded by expressing aspirations that 80% of the targeted farmer groups would adopt good agricultural practices, with approximately 70% of the targeted farmers embracing the Marketing and Rural Transformation (SMART) approach in their operations, fostering sustainable development within the cocoa industry.

Nana Yaw Reuben Jr.
Source Cocoa Post
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