A sensitization workshop to create awareness on the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) and the role of landscape level stakeholders has been held for local and district stakeholders at Nkawie, in the Atwima-Nwabiagya South Municipality.
It was organized by the Rights and Advocacy Initiatives Network (RAIN), an NGO employing rights-based innovative approaches to address challenges in the agricultural, natural resources and environmental sector in Ghana, and the IDH Sustainability Trade Initiative.
One hundred and fifty (150) participants made up of cocoa farmers, chiefs, staff of Forestry Commission, Ghana National Fire Service, COCOBOD, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and License Cocoa Buying Companies from the Ahafo Ano South-West, Atwima Nwabiagya South and Atwima Mponua hotspot intervention areas, attended the workshop.
The Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) is a commitment by top cocoa-producing countries (Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire) and leading chocolate producing companies to end deforestation related cocoa production and prevent further land degradation in cocoa growing communities.
The CFI focuses on three thematic areas – conservation of national parks and forested land as well as restoration of forests that have been degraded by human activities.
Sustainable intensification and diversification of income in order to increase farmers’ yields and livelihood, to grow “more cocoa on less land” and thereby reduce pressure on forests as well as engagement and the empowerment of cocoa-growing communities.
The landscape actors were taken through the CFI’s core commitments, plan of action, and the activities stakeholders at the landscape level could implement by themselves to end further deforestation.
Dr Lawrence Kwabena Brobbey, the Team Leader of RAIN, advised landscape actors to plant trees on their cocoa farms to provide the requisite microclimate needed by cocoa to increase crop yields.
He urged farmers to report illegal activities by some land users to the Forestry Commission for redress.
Officials of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission explained to farmers the need for them to seek consent from officials before they could fell trees.