IDEG organizes forum for cocoa farmers in Awutu senya

By
James Esuon, GNA

Awutu Bereku, (C/R),
Sept 28, GNA – The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has organised a
day’s forum to sensitise Cocoa farmers in the Awutu-Senya West to ensure
correct application of inputs to increase production.

It was also to
encourage and inspire the youth in the district on the importance to enter into
cocoa farming, which served as back born of the nation’s economy.

Addressing the
participants, Mr Edwald Quaye Garr, Acting Head of the Civic Empowerment for
Community Action (CECA) IDEG, said the training programme for cocoa farmers,
aimed at increasing production and sensitising the farmers, started in 2015 and
it would end this year.

He said the three-year
programme pushed IDEG to operate in five selected districts nationwide namely:
Bia West, Juaboso, Sekyere East, Ahafo Ano North and Awutu-Senya.

It worked in 121
communities in the five districts and assisted participants to serve as
training of trainers so as to let the Youth know about the benefits of becoming
cocoa farmers.

He said IDEG’s forum
was to empower and transform people in the targeted cocoa communities into
pro-active and informed citizens who would be able to advocate and demand for
the realisation of the developmental needs of their communities.

The programme brought
together key policy makers, actors and stakeholders to deliberate on keys
issues that affected the cocoa growing communities in order to promote
development.

The head of CECA of
IDEG said his organisation was mobilising and empowering cocoa communities to
effectively engage and influence policies.

This he explained
would help enhance the knowledge of cocoa communities on local government
structures and creating institutional spaces for citizens to monitor and demand
accountability.

Mr Quaye Garr urged
the participants not to rest on their oars but strive hard to encourage the
youth to go into cocoa farming.

Mr Kwame Quaye, Awutu-Senya
West District Chief Executive, (DCE) in a speech read on his behalf said the
government was going to provide pipe born water to over 20 farming communities
to reduce the problem of water shortage during dry season.

He said the water
project was being financed by the World Bank and the Government of Ghana as
part of its efforts to provide portable drinking water to all rural
communities, especially farming areas.

Mr Samuel Alasinaba,
Awutu-Senya West District Agriculture Engineer enumerated factors, which had
discouraged the youth to enter into farming activities in the country and
mentioned acquisition of land, storage, access to soft loan, ready market and
bad roads as some of the contributory factors that have hindered the youth to
develop more interest in farming.

He called on the
government to put in place measures that would help to purchase produce from
farmers in order rather than allowing market women to determine their prices to
avoid cheat.

Mr Alasinaba said
there were 160 farming communities, with 30 cocoa growing areas and commended
cocoa farmers for correctly applying chemicals and heeding to the advice from
the agricultural officers.

GNA

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