600 farmers receive support under Cocoa Farmers’ Support Programme

As part of the efforts to boost development in host communities, the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has supported a total of 600 farmers under the Cocoa Farmers’ Support Programme.

The Foundation, since its inception in 2002, has invested over US$6.9 million in enterprise development in its host communities, including various livelihood support programmes such as the Cocoa Farmers’ Support Programme.

The Cocoa Farmers’ Support Programme, launched in 2018 was aimed at supporting farmers’ efforts in obtaining inputs. Famers under the programme have thus far received COCOBOD-approved fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides to enhance their cocoa production.

On the part of the Foundation, it also has donated spraying machines to aid farmers in the application of the agrochemicals.

The programme has been executed in partnership with the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, the Huni Valley Cocoa Farmers Association of Ghana, the Cocoa Coffee Shea Nut Farmers’ Association, and the Damang Mine Consultative Farmers A
ssociation (DMCFA).

In 2024, Gold Fields Ghana Foundation earmarked US$28,000 in the programme to support a total of 120 farmers. These farmers will receive COCOBOD-approved fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides to enhance their cocoa production.

The introduction of the Cocoa Farmers Support Programme demonstrates a commitment by the Foundation to host mining communities, while carrying out sustainable mining activities which can coexist with agriculture and even go a step further to boost agriculture production.

Some farmers recounting their experience said; ‘I have benefited from the programme for three consecutive years. Before the programme, like many of my fellow farmers, I struggled to get farm inputs for my cocoa farm production; however, with the introduction of the Cocoa Farmers Support Programme, everything has changed. I used to harvest about 8 to 10 bags from my two-acre cocoa farm each season, just enough to sustain myself and my immediate family, but never enough to truly prosper.

‘For thre
e consecutive years, I have received fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides from the programme. These farm inputs have been my allies, empowering me to nurture my cocoa trees like never before. With each application, I could see the difference in the health and vigor of my crops.”

“I now proudly harvest around 18 to 20 bags of cocoa each season from the same farm. This significant increase has not only improved my standard of living but has also filled me with a newfound sense of pride and accomplishment,’ Baaba Sintim, who is a farmer from Bompieso community said.

Another farmer, Madam Esther Aggrey on her part said, “Not long ago, my cocoa farm was in big trouble. Diseases and pests were attacking my cocoa trees, and I felt sad watching my farm get worse every day. I could not afford to buy fungicide and pesticides to help my crops.

‘Fortunately, I was enrolled into the cocoa farmers’ support programme in 2022. It felt like my prayers were answered. From the moment I joined the programme, everything got b
etter. No longer do I have to standby helplessly as my farm suffered. With the support from the programme, I received pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers to help me reclaim my cocoa farm from pests and diseases. I now harvest more than 12 bags of cocoa from my farm as compared to the previous 3 – 5 bags I used to harvest.

‘For the first time in a long while, I feel hopeful about my cocoa farm. Every season, my farm gets better and better. I am getting more cocoa than I ever thought possible. What used to be a hard struggle to keep my farm alive has turned into a journey of success and growth.”

She concluded by saying, ‘I am thankful for the Cocoa Farmers’ Support Programme. It didn’t just save my farm; it also gave me hope for the future.”

Source: Ghana Web