NGO presents business start-up kits to farmers
Rainforest Alliance - Ghana, an NGO, has presented business start-up kits worth over GH¢ 700,000 to 100 farmers and farmer groups at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region.
The donation was a follow up to a capacity building training facilitated by the organisation to the farmers as part of its Resilient Ecosystems and Sustainable Transformation of Rural Economies (RESTORE) project.
The RESTORE project, which was launched in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), seeks to demonstrate a model for community-led governance, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and resilience that aligns with regional and government priorities in cocoa production landscapes in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
It is also to help boost the capacity of smallholder farmers in entrepreneurial skills and support them with establishing income diversification enterprises with expanded opportunities for women and youth in the landscape.
The Country Director of Rainforest Alliance Ghana, Kwame Osei, explained that the project formed part of efforts to help farmers to expand cocoa harvesting a notch higher.
“We launched RESTORE in 2022 to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to increase tree cover and help reduce national and corporate greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
Through these efforts, he said the NGOs aim was to make an impact on an estimated 15,000 farmers managing 50,000 hectares of farmland to ultimately enhance productivity and incomes, restore forest cover and promote gender equality by 2027.
“We aim to achieve this through a holistic approach that includes farmer training and support, market connections, active participation in restoring degraded forest lands, all in pursuit of our mission to create a more sustainable and equitable cocoa supply chain,” he stated.
The Environmental Policy Specialist for USAID West Africa, Victor Mombu, lamented the challenges of low yields and unsustainable farming practices farmers faced in the cocoa industry leading to shrinking of precious forests, all in the pursuit of higher incomes at the expense of deforestation.
This RESTORE project, he said was more than just a vision adding, “It’s a strategy to build resilient economies and uplift the very communities that sustain our cocoa landscapes.
“We are equipping smallholder farmers with the skills they need to become entrepreneurs, and we are helping them diversify their income streams,” he stressed.
Receiving the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chief of Anhiwaa and the Paramount Chief of the Sefwi Wiawso Divisional Area, Nana Kofi Nkuah II, expressed gratitude to the project implementers for their continuous support to the chiefs and people of the area over the years.