Women cocoa farmers have been urged to embrace new technologies to substantially increase crop yield and returns.
A Networking and Advocacy Expert at Tropenbos Ghana, Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, asked that they planted improved and early maturing seedlings, learned the technique of hand pollination and the use of modern farm implements.
She made the call at a workshop to build the capacity of the women farmers at Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region, to raise their production levels.
The workshop was organized by Tropenbos Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO), as part of its ‘Green Livelihood Alliance Programme’, which seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of civil society organizations to influence policies and practices to achieve inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes.
The participants were taken through the various roles they should play, especially, when farming with their partners (husbands) to boost productivity and how to adapt to alternative businesses in the off cocoa season.
Mrs. Asumang-Yeboah noted that “women’s socio-economic empowerment is fundamental to the global goal of realizing gender equality and to a larger extent the 2030 agenda for sustainable development”.
They formed an integral part of economic sustainability and “they must be taken along at every stage of the process”.
She added that, women contributed in no small way to boosting the economy as food producers, business owners, and caretakers of children and of resources.
The acting Regional Manager, Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), Western South, Samuel Asare Ankamah said COCOBOD was implementing a number of interventions to aid cocoa farmers to increase productivity.
He mentioned among these, the hand pollination programme, and said, they also would soon be distributing tricycles to cocoa farmer groups to make it easier for them to get to and from their farms.
He encouraged the women to form stronger groups, to give them voice and protect their interests.
Alizatu Adam, a farmer, said the workshop had been beneficial and suggested to Tropenbos to go a step further to ensure one-on-one follow-up farm visits.