IDEG organizes forum for cocoa farmers in Awutu senya

Awutu Bereku, (C/R)- The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has organised a day’s forum to sensitise Cocoa farmers in the Awutu-Senya West to ensure correct application of inputs to increase production.

It was also to encourage and inspire the youth in the district on the importance to enter into cocoa farming, which served as back born of the nation’s economy.

Addressing the participants, Mr Edwald Quaye Garr, Acting Head of the Civic Empowerment for Community Action (CECA) IDEG, said the training programme for cocoa farmers, aimed at increasing production and sensitising the farmers, started in 2015 and it would end this year.

He said the three-year programme pushed IDEG to operate in five selected districts nationwide namely: Bia West, Juaboso, Sekyere East, Ahafo Ano North and Awutu-Senya.

It worked in 121 communities in the five districts and assisted participants to serve as training of trainers so as to let the Youth know about the benefits of becoming cocoa farmers.

He said IDEG’s forum was to empower and transform people in the targeted cocoa communities into pro-active and informed citizens who would be able to advocate and demand for the realisation of the developmental needs of their communities.

The programme brought together key policy makers, actors and stakeholders to deliberate on keys issues that affected the cocoa growing communities in order to promote development.

The head of CECA of IDEG said his organisation was mobilising and empowering cocoa communities to effectively engage and influence policies.

This he explained would help enhance the knowledge of cocoa communities on local government structures and creating institutional spaces for citizens to monitor and demand accountability.

Mr Quaye Garr urged the participants not to rest on their oars but strive hard to encourage the youth to go into cocoa farming.

Mr Kwame Quaye, Awutu-Senya West District Chief Executive, (DCE) in a speech read on his behalf said the government was going to provide pipe born water to over 20 farming communities to reduce the problem of water shortage during dry season.

He said the water project was being financed by the World Bank and the Government of Ghana as part of its efforts to provide portable drinking water to all rural communities, especially farming areas.

Mr Samuel Alasinaba, Awutu-Senya West District Agriculture Engineer enumerated factors, which had discouraged the youth to enter into farming activities in the country and mentioned acquisition of land, storage, access to soft loan, ready market and bad roads as some of the contributory factors that have hindered the youth to develop more interest in farming.

He called on the government to put in place measures that would help to purchase produce from farmers in order rather than allowing market women to determine their prices to avoid cheat.

Mr Alasinaba said there were 160 farming communities, with 30 cocoa growing areas and commended cocoa farmers for correctly applying chemicals and heeding to the advice from the agricultural officers.

Source: Ghana News Agency