Ecocare Ghana has conducted a baseline study on the implementation of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative at Juaboso in the Western Region as part of the Monitoring Cocoa and Forest Initiative Commitments Through Participatory Approach Project (MoCCPA). The project seeks to monitor the commitments made by the government of Ghana and 27 chocolate companies to address the issue of deforestation as a result of cocoa farming in forest reserves. The CFI also seeks to restore degraded forest and strengthen cocoa supply chain mapping in two Hotspots Intervention Areas (HIA) in Ghana.
The team visited four main stakeholder groups in Juaboso HIA; the governmental agencies (Forestry Commission, Ministry of Food Agriculture and Cocobod), the non- governmental agencies (Rainforest Alliance), the licensed buying companies (Nyonkopa, Kuapa cocoa, Olam, Amanjaro, etc.)and the cocoa-producing communities (10 communities fringing krokosua hills forest reserve ).
The project team found that most of the stakeholders they visited did not know about the CFI agreement. Upon educating them of the CFI commitments and its importance, the stakeholders were of the view that CFI is a very timely project in the cocoa sector and will help them address some challenges faced by farmers such as poor yield of cocoa in the area. The community members were excited about their inclusion in the monitoring of the CFI processes through the MoCCPA Project and pledged their support to ensure effective implementation and achievement of the project goals and objectives.
The Ecocare Team also noted that several cocoa and forest intervention projects were being implemented by other CSO,s and CBOs in the area aimed at improving the sector and the livelihood of the community members.
They were optimistic that the warm reception given to them by the communities will translate to effective collaboration which will lead to smooth implementation of the project that contribute the conservation of the Krokosua Forest.