“The Climate Smart Training Has Been Very Helpful”

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Cocoa Diaries Abraham Taah

Community Facilitator and Farmer
Akoti, Sefwi Bekwai District, Ghana

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are one way in which climate smart standards are shared by cocoa and chocolate companies to help farmers grow ‘more cocoa on less land’ despite climate change. In some FFS, facilitators use a participatory approach to train a group of farmers on the farm for a period of seven months through demonstrations, idea sharing and field practices. The objective is for the farmers to be able to make their own judgement on which practices is best for their farm as a result of climate change.

Akoti, a cocoa farming community in the Sefwi Bekwai District of Ghana’s Western Region was one of the beneficiary communities of this intervention. With a total of 100 farmers and led by two trained community facilitators, the community set up two FFS plots where practical Climate Smart cocoa practices such as water harvesting, production of compost, integration of shade trees into cocoa systems and irrigation were demonstrated. In groups of ten farmers, the farmers developed compost sites where they collectively produce compost using cocoa and household waste and distribute the same among themselves for application on their farms.

Among these practices, the production and use of compost and integration of shade trees into their farming system was commonly adopted by the farmers.

“The climate smart training has been very helpful. Until we received this training, our farms used to be very dry during the dry season. However, with the application of the compost we produced, the soil on my farm looks wet even in the dry season with my plants producing fresh leaves and pods. With this practice, my cocoa waste on the farm is positively utilized. I would encourage my farmers to adopt this practice,” says Mr. Abraham Taah, community facilitator and farmer.

Promoting climate smart agriculture, yield optimization and sustainable intensification are key strategies as part of Ghana’s Cocoa and Forest REDD+ Program (GCFRP). They will deliver carbon emission reductions resulting from avoided cocoa expansion into forests.