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Development of farmer-led strategies to address cocoa production underway

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Strategic Communications Africa, a Communications Consultancy Firm (STRATCOM) in collaboration with two other institutions are designing a programme to facilitate effective farmer-led communication to address challenges in cocoa production in the country.

They are International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Ghana Cocoa Board.

Ms Esther Amba Numaba Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of STRATCOM Africa, announced this when addressing the opening session of a two-day Cocoa Farmer’s Forum in Accra on Tuesday.

She said the programme would continue to lead the way to improve on cocoa production, since farmers were at the centre of agriculture.

The forum on the theme: “Contributing Towards Policy Formulation and Implementation” was being attended by more than 200 representatives from diverse groups of cocoa farmers to discuss pertinent challenges with respect to cocoa production.

Ms Cobbah said they would draw lessons from the experiences of farmers as an input for the programme.

“Identification of critical issues that confront cocoa farmers and management of the issues will be undertaken from the perspective of farmers,” she added.

Ms Cobbah noted that this was the right-based approach which recognised the rights and respect of farmers to improve and develop ways of crop production.

Mr Isaac Gyamfi, Country Representative of IITA, said the approach envisaged for the programme would help to gradually develop the culture of making cocoa farmers more responsible and less dependent on State efforts and rather perceived the national support for the sector as complementary.

He said the forum would serve as a platform for an integration of cocoa farmer groups and associations into sector policy discussions and formation.

It would also create national awareness especially among cocoa farmers to be part of decision-making towards achieving national production target.

“The forum would create a platform for cocoa farmers to provide input for policy discussions on how the cocoa value chain can be improved and sustained,” Mr Gyamfi added.

The programme is being organised by IITA under the Cocoa Sector Support Programme Phase II (CSSP II) and funded by European Union.

Source: GNA

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