District Level Involvement in CFI Implementation through MoCCPA
A second level district stakeholders meeting has been organized by EcoCare Ghana for stakeholders in JUABOSO and ATWIMA NPONUA districts. The meeting was organized to bring together all relevant stakeholders at the district level to discuss the MoCCPA project and the cocoa and forest initiative (CFI), dueling on what has been done so far by government and the chocolate companies, what else is left to be done and what stakeholders can contribute to the CFI implementation process.
The meeting took place in two HIAs ie Juaboso and Atwema Nponua district. The meeting brought together district level stakeholders like Forestry Commission, CocoBod, License Buying Companies (LBC), Farmer Base Organizations (FBO), Opinion Leaders from communities, Cocoa Farmers and District Assembly members.
Participants at these forums were updated on the MoCCPA project and the CFI implementation process. The forums were utilized to further create awareness on the commitments made by government and private sector (chocolates companies) in the cocoa and forest initiative (CFI) and the relevance of the CFI and what benefits it will render to cocoa farmers, cocoa buying companies and the entire nation as a whole. It was also used to garner stakeholders support for the successful implementation of the CFI in Ghana.
Participants in both meetings raised some concerns, questions and suggestions about the implementation process of CFI and the MoCCPA project which includes:
- The seemingly lack of consultation of chiefs prior to the signing of the CFI.
- The Need for CFI related activities like reforestation to done across the nation and not only around the forest areas
- The need to fast track the passing of the law on tree to motivate farmers to plant trees on their farms.
- The need to employ more extension officers to help educate farmers on good agronomic practices.
Participants also made certain suggestions to ensure that the necessary benefits of CFI are not downgraded. These includes;
- Encroaching and illegal loggers to be punished by the chiefs in their communities where the illegal or encroachment activity took place.
- Di-stoolment of community chiefs by the paramount chief if any of their community is involved in illegal activities regarding to the forest.
- proper registration of tuangya farmers
Issues concerning land tenure were the most pressing issue raised at these forums to be the major threat to CFI implementation and stakeholders hope to get a better understanding of who owns what before they plant or nurture trees in their farms.
License buying companies were however underrepresented in both meetings even though they received invitations about the meeting. Stakeholders present suggested that, there should be more of such meetings to create the platform for deliberations and knowledge sharing.
The MoCCPA project which is being implemented with funding support from Rainforest Alliance/UTZ seeks to build capacity of stakeholders to effectively participate and also monitor the implementation process of the cocoa and forest initiative.