Cocoa farmers have been encouraged to adopt the use of the crop calendar in their production if they are to increase yields from 3 to 16 bags on an acre of land.
The crop calendar is a tool that provides timely information about seeds to promote local crop production. It contains information on planting, sowing and harvesting periods and also provides information on the sowing rates of seed and planting material.
Addressing some cocoa farmers at a financial literacy training in Kumasi, Anglophone West Africa Portfolio Manager at Root Capital, Francis Opoku-Mensah, talked about the benefits of the calendar to farmers.
“In Ghana, we grow cocoa on more land than Ivory Coast yet Ivory Coast production is more than ours due to Ghana’s low average acre yield. The average number of bags being harvested by most Ghanaian cocoa farmers on an acre is 3 bags. But with the implementation of the crop calendar, a farmer can harvest between 12 and 16 bags on an acre,” he said.
Eighty-two cocoa farmers of Kuapa Kokoo in the six cocoa growing regions in Ghana participated in the two-week training on financial literacy to learn how to manage and sustain their farming business.
Executive Secretary of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, Nelson Adubofuor entreated the farmers to approach farming as a business to improve their financial status.
“We have realized that, the cocoa industry is becoming quite complicated, thus, we want farmers to see what they are doing as a business. They should be able to ascertain what goes in, how much profit they are getting and the losses they are incurring as well. We want to make the farmer financially literate to manage his own affairs and economic status,” he stated.
Some of the beneficiary cocoa farmers commended organizers of the training.
“This training will be of help to me in my farming business,” said Patrick Awutey. “Previously, I was unable to differentiate whether I’m gaining or losing from my farming activity but I have now learnt to prepare and follow a crop calendar to increase my yield and know the status of my finances”.
Another farmer, Doris Opoku stated that “with this training, I have learnt that a farmer does not necessarily need a vast land to harvest more yields but even with an acre of land, he or she can produce more yields by applying best practices. Also, I have come to realize that, we should take our farming activity as a business for sustainable growth”.
The training was a collaboration between Kuapa Kokoo and Root Capital with support from MasterCard Foundation.
Story by Ibrahim Abubakar | 3news.com | Ghana