Ghana Agroforestry for Impact Project launched to improve climate resilience of cocoa farmers

Fairtrade Africa staff and farmers 

Ghana Agroforestry for Impact (GAIM) Project has been launched at   Goaso in the Ahafo Region to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods and climate change resilience through the agro ecological transition of cocoa farms.

Fairtrade Africa staff and farmers The three-year project being implemented by Fairtrade Africa in partnership with Max Havelaar France and the French Development Agency (AFD France) would help improve livelihoods and climate resilience of cocoa farmers.

It would focus in three main areas of   Strengthen Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperatives to support farmers in the agro ecological transition, contribute to the ecological intensification of smallholder cocoa production systems and Improve and diversify cocoa farmers’ income and livelihood.

The project would be implemented in the Asunafo North Municipality and Asunafo South District of the Ahafo Region to profit 1,200 Farmers and households from 20 communities.

Three Fairtrade certified cooperatives to benefit from the project include the Asunafo North Municipal Cooperative Cocoa Farmers Union, Kukuom Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union and Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union.

A released signed by Madam fanny Ampori, communication officer for the programme at Fair trade indicated that, Ghana  as the second largest cocoa producer in the world  faced challenges in its Cocoa production in deforestation, increasing environmental degradation,  aging farmers,  climate change and pest and diseases.

Climate change continues to have impact on cocoa production to decline in yield, tree mortality, pest and diseases, since agriculture production in Ghana including cocoa, largely depends on rain fed agriculture, it said adding that over reliance on cocoa as the main source of income for the farming households has become unsustainable as most farmers suffer during the lean seasons.

It said the  GAIM project would, therefore, help provide tools to farmers to fight against the adverse effects of climate change, their dependence on the sole commodity of cocoa and against ageing cocoa farms through Dynamic Agroforestry Techniques (DAF) and to ensure the sustainability of the actions, the GAIM project will strongly promote women in leadership and the involvement of the youth in cocoa farming through the Women’s School of Leadership (WSOL) and youth modules under GAIM.

Mr.  Yaw Osei –Boahen, Municipal Chief Executive of the Asunafo North Assembly, in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the project, stated that the country was blessed with natural resources and minerals but they had been over exploited.

He said the nation had to constantly work towards restoring the natural endowment to sustain the ecological vegetation of the nation.

The MCE called on all to embrace the GAIM project and to apply multi-dimensional approach to combat the fast depletion of the country’s vegetation cover and also to promote the cultivation of cocoa plantation with mix cropping to offer farmers alternative livelihood sources.

By Regina Benneh, GNA


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