“If You Plan for the Future of Your Farm, You Can Make More from It”

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Cocoa Diaries Yaa Fosua

Cocoa Farmer
Punikrom region - Ghana

Yaa Fosua, 56, has been farming cocoa in the Punikrom region of Ghana for over 30 years. But despite investing in fertilizers and pesticides for her 1-hectare farm, her cocoa trees were unhealthy and low yielding, and she was struggling to make enough money to support her two children and six grandchildren.

She heard that cocoa and chocolate companies and NGOs were running a program to help people like her rehabilitate their cocoa farms. “Others in my community encouraged me to sign up. They said that cocoa and chocolate companies would come in and do things like prune my trees, plant shade trees and clear away the weeds. At first, I thought it would be a gamble.”

But Yaa soon appreciated the benefits and was able to apply the lessons of the program for herself. She makes sure to clear any weeds to help the trees grow and keep a check on insects which could destroy the young cocoa trees. She’s already seen her yield increase from 5.7kg to 218kg, growing her income by around USD$330 each year.

“Some farmers think that rehabilitation will hurt their income but it is the opposite. If you properly plan for the future of your farm, you can make more from it. I’ve also been able to plant other crops on my farm, like plantain and tomatoes, which I can sell locally, boosting my income that way too.”