Cocoa Post
Voice of Cocoa

Farmers Field School: Ensuring Prosperity of Cocoa Farmers

With the current threat of illegal mining activities in cocoa mining communities and the increasing smuggling of cocoa beans to neighbouring countries for higher price payment which has significantly contributed to Ghana’s inability to meet export target margin, the Cocoa Farmers’ Field School, an educational programme aimed at educating farmers on the relevance of good cocoa agronomical practices for bumper harvest has come timely to augment government effort to curb the menace.

The Farmers Field School (FFS) which was conducted in Kokofu in the Ashanti Region is a project that was first initiated in 2012 and spearheaded by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in collaboration with the GIZ to improve the cocoa market orientation of cocoa farmers.

The Cocoa Farmers’ Field School, held in the heart of the cocoa-rich Bekwai Cocoa District exemplifies the importance of such initiatives to the cocoa farming community as it aims to develop smallholder cocoa farmers’ businesses and entrepreneurship skills, and their market orientation and adopts new technologies to help farmers improve their livelihoods.

The event witnessed the successful implementation of the Productivity Enhanced Programme (PEP) initiatives of the Ghana Cocoa Board.

This programme is intended to equip cocoa farmers in Ghana with the knowledge and instruments necessary to increase their crop yield and promote the sustainability of cocoa farming.

FFS also provides an in-depth understanding of the “4 Ps” practices: pruning, poultry manure application, pollination, and pod protection. These practices are crucial for ensuring healthy cocoa trees and increased production.

This gave farmers the opportunity to learn from experts about the complexities of each P and how they interrelate to produce a robust cocoa farming ecosystem that guarantees massive yields.

The success of the Kokofu Farmer Field School was largely dependent on the knowledge of its instructors. Prince Kwadwo Amoako, the District Cocoa Officer at CHED, Bekwai District, and Oheneafewo Bonsu, the District Extension Coordinator, led the discussion.

Additionally, the Community Extension Agents (CEAs) from Kokofu and Jacobu, namely Seth Aning-Sarfo and Maxwell Okpoti, contributed invaluable insight. Their collective knowledge and experience served as a guiding light for the cocoa farmers in attendance.

The practical component of the Kokofu Field School was one of its highlights as cocoa farmers present had the opportunity to visit the property of Chief Farmer Ebenezer Adusei, where they observed the successful implementation of the 4Ps firsthand.

Observing the concepts in action left a lasting impression on cocoa producers, reinforcing their applicability and efficacy.

The field school’s visit to a pollinated farm was an essential component. Here, cocoa farmers realized the significance of pollination in cocoa farming.

They observed a direct correlation between proper pollination practices and enhanced cocoa pod formation, which ultimately led to increased yields.

The Kokofu Cocoa Farmers’ Field School exemplifies the significant contribution farmer field schools make to the lives of cocoa farmers.

As cocoa farming continues to evolve, initiatives such as these are essential for ensuring the prosperity of cocoa farmers and the longevity of this essential industry.

Prince K. Amoako
Source Cocoa Post
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