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Farmer groups and their communities urged to adopt Integrated Management Systems

By Nana Yaw Reuben Jr. II Contributor
Agriculture Group photo of Cocoa farmers and officers
MAR 1, 2024 LISTEN
Group photo of Cocoa farmers and officers

Conservation Alliance International has partnered with Rainforest Alliance, an International Non-profit Organization to support farmer groups and their communities to address broader landscape issues by practicing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in their various farms.

Liaison Lead for the project, Raymond Owusu Achiaw, speaking at the initial meeting held at Twifo Afeaso in the Central Region for over 30 farmers of the Conservation Cocoa Association, explained that “Strengthening the Traceability, Accountability, and Resilience of Farmer Groups (STAR) project” is tackling two key areas in sustainable cocoa production in Ghana namely Geodata and Landscape approaches.

According to him, all targeted farmer group members will have farm geodata by mid-2024 and also 70% of targeted farmers are expected to adopt certification in their operations linked to Rainforest Alliance certification standards.

He stated that through tools like farm data collection and a dedicated geodatabase, the project will empower 30 target farmers in Ghana’s Kakum landscape to adopt Integrated Management Systems (IMS) which will help them achieve certification.

“Our project will also address broader landscape issues by promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and also equip farmers with business skills through the SMART approach which will help them see “farming as a business,” he said.

Field Co-implementation Lead, Ama Akyema Sasu mentioned that the initial phase of the project will identify knowledge gaps, while subsequent phases bridge them through farmer field school trainings.

She explained that they are working to increase net yields of target farmer group members and also increase net income of farmer group members in the selected communities.

“I am hopeful that this project will increase the percentage of farmer group members with traceable farms which will impact positively on cocoa production,” she stated.

Field Implementation Lead for Conservation Cocoa Association, Ebenezer Darko was optimistic that formalizing relationships with international organizations like Rainforest Alliance would propel them implement Good Agricultural Practices in their communities.

“It is our hope that 80% of target farmer groups will adopt good agricultural practices and about 70% of target farmers adopt a Marketing and Rural Transformation (SMART) approach in their operations,” he added.

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