Agro-input dealers fair held in Western North Region

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A fair for farmers and agro-input dealers has been held at Bia and Juaboso in the Western North Region to enable cocoa farmers to gain easy access to certified input and services. 

The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, in collaboration with the Juaboso-Bia ‘Hot Spot Intervention Area’ (HIA) management board, organised the fair, on the theme: “Securing Forest and Farms Resilience through Access to Certified Input and Services”.

It was to bring cocoa farmers, forest management service providers, and agro-input dealers together to discuss how to identify certified products and services, foster linkages and service delivery models.

Tropenbos Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, and other stakeholders supported the fair.

Ms Barbara White Nkoala, the Country Director, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, said the organisation had been in the Juaboso and Bia districts since 2015, undertaking projects, which had impacted positively on sustainable cocoa production and improved livelihoods.

She mentioned the adoption of improved cocoa agroforestry practices by more than 2,000 smallholders, supporting 2,232 farmers to replant 1,416 hectors of overaged cocoa farms, and training more than 1,200 farmers and extension agents on good agricultural practices.

Other interventions were the distribution of three million planting materials comprising hybrid cocoa seedlings, indigenous trees and plantain suckers.

Ms Nkoala said to increase cocoa productivity per hectare required the use of agro inputs due to the heavy nutrient requirement, pest and diseases control.

“There is, however, the need to adopt environmentally friendly agro inputs and ensure that these inputs are used at the right time and in the right quantities,” she said.

All farmers needed to have access to affordable inputs and services to enable them to adopt climate smart cocoa and sustainable production practices.

“We expect this to help promote improved access to certified products and services towards improved and sustainable smallholder cocoa production system and resilience,” she added.

Mr Isaac Adu, the Western North Regional Manager, COCOBOD, lauded SNV for the collaboration and advised farmers to always buy COCOBOD’s approved agro-inputs for quality yield.

“We know how unapproved agro inputs leave chemicals residue in the cocoa beans, which can threaten the external market of the cocoa beans.”

Nana Yaw Barima, the Krontihene of Yawmatwa, and the 2022 Western North Regional Best Farmer, commended SNV for the continuous support to cocoa farmers and urged the farmers to take advantage of its programmes to improve cocoa production.

The fair was under the ‘Collaborative Learning for Climate Smart Cocoa (CLCSC) project, being implemented by SNV Ghana in partnership with the Centre for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry.

The project aims to contribute to government’s climate change mitigation and adoption strategies by using a collaborative learning approach to resolve the barriers to smallholder climate smart cocoa adoption.

It is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Corporation and Development.

By Alex Baah Boadi, GNA

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