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Voice of Cocoa

Fairtrade Africa, Partners Launch Ghana Agroforestry for Impact (GAIM) Project

To help improve livelihoods and climate resilience of cocoa farmers

The Ghana Agroforestry for Impact (GAIM) project has been launched in Goaso, Ahafo Region, to help improve the livelihoods and climate resilience of cocoa farmers.

The 3-year project (2024-2026) is being implemented by Fairtrade Africa with partnership support from Max Havelaar France and the French Development Agency (AFD France).

The collaborative effort is designed to address environmental degradation, improve livelihoods, and combat climate change in Ghana’s cocoa sector.

The GAIM project seeks to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods and climate change resilience through the agroecological transition of cocoa farms.

This is hoped to strengthen Fairtrade-certified cocoa cooperatives to support their farmers in the agroecological transition, contribute to the ecological intensification of smallholder cocoa production systems, and improve and diversify cocoa farmers’ income and livelihood.

With Ghana being the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, the project is strategically designed to mitigate challenges such as environmental degradation, deforestation, ageing farmers, pests, diseases, and the impacts of climate change on cocoa production.

The Ghana Agroforestry for Impact (GAIM) initiative recognises the urgent need to empower women and youth in cocoa farming, address their underrepresentation in cooperatives, and promote their involvement in leadership and management roles.

Moreover, the GAIM project aligns with emerging industry regulations, such as the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), by promoting sustainable practices that combat deforestation and forest degradation.

The Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa, Isaac H. Tongola, emphasised the organisation’s commitment to empowering cocoa farmers, especially women and youth.

He called for collaborative efforts from government entities, NGOs, traders, chocolate brands, and the donor community to achieve sustainable development goals in the cocoa sector.

The GAIM Project will implement various strategies, including Dynamic Agroforestry Techniques (DAF), the Women’s School of Leadership (WSOL), and Youth Modules, to promote gender equality, youth inclusion, and climate resilience.

Additionally, the various Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) schemes will be strengthened to foster financial inclusion among beneficiary farmers.

The project will primarily benefit 1,200 cocoa farmers and households across 20 communities in the Asunafo North Municipality and Asunafo South District of the Ahafo region.

These beneficiaries are affiliated with three Fairtrade-certified cooperatives: the Asunafo North Municipal Cooperative Cocoa Farmers Union, Kukuom Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union, and Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union.

Funded by AFD France with matching support from the Sankofa Project, Max Havelaar France, and Fairtrade Africa, the GAIM Project aligns with several Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty reduction, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and partnerships for the goals.

The implementing organisation, Fairtrade Africa, was established in 2005 to serve as a vital network organisation representing Fairtrade-certified Producer Organizations across Africa and the Middle East.

With a membership of over 1.3 million farmers and workers, Fairtrade Africa is committed to enhancing livelihoods and fostering sustainable development in the region’s agricultural sector.

Kojo Hayford
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