Cocoa Life Supports Community Extension Agents

One of the community extension officers receiving his laptop from Mrs. Amekudzi

Mondelez International has presented Dell laptops to 39 community extension agents in the Eastern, Western, Central, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions under its cocoa sustainability programme, dubbed Cocoa Life.

The laptops are expected to be used by the community extension officers in various districts for data collection and transfer to the appropriate authorities in real time.

Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi, country leader, Cocoa Life, Mondelez International, presenting the devices to the community extension agents, said the programme would empower thriving cocoa communities by supporting farmers to improve yields.

She said through partnerships with both government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), the programme has equipped cocoa farmers with the needed knowledge and other equipment to enable them boost production.

The challenge facing the programme is the untimely transfer of data by the community extension agents, whose work is to support cocoa farmers in the crop production process, she added.

She said they have to rely on third parties to send field data.

“Data collection is really important to us, we need it for accountability of funds, measurement of programme progress and performance, programme review and retooling, as well as documentary and reference purposes, she said.

Mrs. Amekudzi was hopeful the laptops would help the programme meet its target in least eight communities.

Asante Lopez from Amansie West District, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, said the laptops have come at the right time.

In partnership with the cocoa health and extension division of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), 39 community extension agents are deployed in 331 communities to provide critical training and other technical support to 16,255 males and 9224 female cocoa farmers.

The work of the community extension officers is to ensure the adaptation of good agricultural practices to increase productivity and ensure disease control and proper farmer organization.

 By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri