Cocoa Abosso

ABOSSO GOLDFIELDS LTD. DISTRIBUTES US$80,000 IN FARM INPUTS TO 360 FARMERS

Through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF), Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL) hosted a distribution event, in which they contributed over US$80,000 worth of farm inputs to 360 farmers in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality.

The items were distributed as part of AGL’s Cocoa farmer support programme, which was put in place to help boost Cocoa production in AGL’s host communities. The Acting General Manager of AGL, Mrs Catherine Kuupol Kuutor, spoke at the distribution event, stating the primary objectives of the programme. Mrs Kuutor explained that 120 Cocoa farmers are selected annually and are given the necessary supplies and support to boost annual Cocoa production by a minimum of three percent, while helping to sustain their employment in Cocoa production. 

Since its launch in 2018, the programme has so far received over US$265,000 and financed a total of 600 Cocoa farmers who cultivate a combined 1,200 acres of farmland. The first batch of beneficiaries reportedly showed an increase of 33 per cent in Cocoa production and a 7 per cent increase in incomes, though Mrs Kuutor hopes that the next assessment in 2023 will yield better results.

Each of our nine catchment communities will receive a minimum of six machines to be used by all Cocoa farmers within the community

Each beneficiary farmer is supported for three years, after which they are replaced in the programme by a new batch of 120 farmers. Out of the 360 farmers AGL is supporting this year, 36 per cent of them are women, as AGL is making conscious efforts to increase women’s participation. In the most recent distribution event, the items handed out include 900 boxes of insecticides, 407 gallons of fertilisers, and 90 mist blower machines. The inclusion of insecticides and fungicides was requested by the Damang Mine Consultative Farmer’s Association and was added to the support package in 2021. 

Mrs Kuutor clarifies that the mist machines are for communal use by all Cocoa farmers in the area: “Each of our nine catchment communities will receive a minimum of six machines to be used by all Cocoa farmers within the community and not just those who are beneficiaries of the programme.”

“This approach is to encourage cooperative farming and farmer’s interdependence for technical knowledge.” She adds, “The district office of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division – COCOBOD will manage the mist blowers. This will be modelled after the government’s mass spraying and spraying gang structure to ensure proper use and maintenance of the machines.”

Mr Michiel van der Merwe, Acting Vice President of Operations, suggested that farmers look to new technologies and innovate in order to maximise productivity and growth since the land was sparse.

The Divisional Chief of Bosomtwe Divisional Area, Nana Kwabena Amponsah IV, reminded the farmers about the importance of their work and encouraged them to increase production efforts with support from the AGL.

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