Cocoa Farmers in the Sefwi Juasobo and Atwima Mponua Districts have called on the government of Ghana and other stakeholders to review the Tree Tenure System for them to own the rights to trees on their farms. This, they intimated will serve as an incentive to nurture naturally occurring tree as well as plant new ones in their cocoa farms. They made this known when Ecocare Ghana team accompanied by the Country Director for Rainforest Alliance/UTZ, Mr. Kwame Osei visited some communities in the Districts, as part of the MoCCPA project.
The purpose of the visit was to assess the work done so far by EcoCare Ghana on the MoCCPA Project and how far the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) implementation process is unfolding in the project communities. Communities visited included Adwumam, Nkwanta, Abrokofe, Seniegyakrom in the Western North region Juaboso district and Akantanso, Chirayaaso, Bofaaso in the Ashanti region Atwima Mponua district).
Farmers wanted to know the benefits from planting the trees on their farms since most of them have been victims of timber companies coming to fell trees on their farms without their consent and in the process destroying their crops.
The farmers also lamented the inefficiency of some extension officers in helping them to identify the right types of fertilizers and the right applications methods. They appealed to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) to bring out a list of recommended fertilizers and pesticides for farmers.
Some the communities reported that Licensed Buying Companies such as OLAM, CARGILL, AGROECOM are helping farmers to map their farms, whiles others like Codapec is offering farmers tree seedlings and fertilisers as part of their Cocoa Forestry Initiative commitments.
Members of Cocopa Farmer’s Organization at Akantaso informed the team that, a training was organised for them on how they can diversify their sources of income to earn an additional livelihood and how to nurse seedlings for planting.
Mr. Kwame Osei from Rainforest Alliance/UTZ advised cocoa farmers to form cooperatives in their communities for them to be recognized and receive farm inputs as Cocobod has issued a directive to that effect. Mrs. Patience Olesu Adjei, the project officer at EcoCare Ghana entreated all the community monitors to continue monitoring the CFI implementations at their community level to ensure transparency and accountability in the Process.