Cocoa farmers benefit from financial literacy programme in Kumasi.

BY: Daniel Kenu

Root Capital, an impacting financing institution with the focus on supporting agric value chain in farming, has collaborated with MasterCard Foundation and Kuapa Kokoo to provide financial literacy training for about 40 farm leaders to take farming as a business.

The two weeks programme was to help farmers especially cocoa farmers to refocus and move from the era of seeing farming as a casual activity to a business venture.

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The training was also necessitated by the worry expressed by Cocobod of farmers not producing the required number of bags from an acreage of farm land.

Subsequently, the 40 trained farmers are expected to partner the various extension officers to implement the new mechanism to increase yield and help in Ghana's move of becoming the world's number producer of cocoa once again.

The Portfolio Manager, Anglophone West Africa, Francis Opoku-Mensah, said key to missing out on the required yield by farmers was failure to adhere to the crop calendar.

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As a result the consultant for the training, Owusu Ansah Amoako company Limited, took them through 'cocoa maintenance crop calander' to ensure seeds are planted and harvested at the right time.

Aside that the farmers also benefitted from how to make investment decisions, management of their working capital cycle and financial planning in general.

Mr Opoku-Mensah said beyond helping farmers with the needed lending facility, Root Capital also provides advisory to them to augmented their services to SMEs.

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The Executive Secretary of Kuapa Kokoo, Nelson Adubofuor, said the industry was becoming more complex and it was important to position the farmers to meet future challenges.

"It is important to help farmers manage their own affairs financially so that they are not taken by events in future," he said.

The Adubofuor said beyond this, Kuapa Kokoo, a cocoa was putting in place measures to enhance their productivity.
He also urged one of the financiers MasterCard, to take up supporting young women in cocoa.