CARE International Ghana in collaboration with Cargill have launched the second phase of the “PROSPER project” in the Bia West District of the Western North Region to support cocoa farmers in the area.
The project seeks to empower women, improved upon nutrition, strengthen community governance, increase access to financial services of Cocoa farmers as well as enhance their financial literacy.
It is targeted at 11,700 cocoa Farmers from 156 farming communities in six Districts in the Western North Region.
Mr Christopher Adu-Gyamfi, District Officer at the Cocoa PROSPER II project, said CARE International Ghana in partnership with Cargill has over 13 years engagement with cocoa-growing communities in the Region.
He said they have also reached out to more than 14,000 Cocoa farmers through training and education on how to improve upon productive and diversify livelihoods of which more than 40 percent of community-led development projects have been integrated in the District medium-term development plans.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi indicated that CARE’s village savings and Loans Association (VSLAs) approach was a proven model of enabling access to financial services for women especially in the Awaso, Anwhiaso, Waiwso and Asawinso Cocoa Districts of which 1,828 Cocoa farmers have been sensitized on the formation of village savings and loans.
He said a total of 465 cocoa farmers were involved in the savings and loans model and that CARE International Ghana and Cargill would work closely with stakeholders to help improve and better the lives of Cocoa farmers and their communities.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi said CARE and Cargill partnership have so far spent $150,494 in the development and implementation of 108 community development projects identified in their community Action plans (CAPs).
Ms Mercy Nyamekeh, Senior Manager Cocoa and Private Sector Initiative at CARE International encouraged farmers especially women to take up farming as a business and invest heavily in it so as not to depend on their husbands for everything.
Mr Yahaya Zakaria, sustainability Coordinator at Cargill explained that the PROSPER initiative formed part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility that seeks to improve upon the livelihoods of individual cocoa farmers and community development.
He expressed satisfaction in the phase one and called on stakeholders to ensure the success of the second phase of the project.
Mr John koah, District Chief Executive for Bia West, commended CARE International Ghana and Cargill for their collaborative efforts in supporting farmers especially cocoa farmers in the area.
Mr koah asked the beneficiaries to take up the programme seriously to improve upon their yields in order to be self-reliant.
Madam Lydia Opoku,a beneficiary from Sefwi-Essakrom in the Waiwso Municipality in an interview with the Ghana News agency said her community benefited from the construction of a three unit classroom block from the phase one of the project and appealed to CARE International to extend the project to other communities in the Region.