Gold Fields Ghana Foundation supports 240 cocoa farmers

Some cocoa farmers
Some cocoa farmers

Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) has supported 240 cocoa farmers from the Damang Mine’s host communities in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality with COCOBOD approved fertilizers and pesticides worth US $20,000. 

The Foundation in 2018 instituted the “Cocoa Farmers Support Programme “to boost the annual cocoa production in the Mines catchment communities by 10 per cent in three years.

The programme was also introduced to demonstrate to the world that mining, if done right, could co-exist with farming.

Since its inception, the programme has been implemented in collaboration with the Huni-Valley Cocoa Farmers Association of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea-nut Farmers’ Association as well as the Damang Mine Consultative Farmers Association (DMCFA).

Presenting the items, Mr Robert Siaw, Regional Manager, Community Relations, Gold Fields Ghana, announced that to date, the Foundation had invested US $6.8 millions of resources in the agriculture sector.

This, he said, had gone into programmes such as youth in organic horticulture production, livestock rearing, oil palm plantation, fish farming and other businesses.

Mr Siaw said “We are very much encouraged and happy that some of the farmers have taken up the challenge to succeed no matter how hard it is, and we are seeing remarkable results from the programme”.

By investing in the well-being of these farmers, the Foundation contributes to the socio-economic development of the communities and reinforces its commitments to responsible and impactful cooperate citizenship, added the Regional Manager.

He challenged the youth in its operational area to take up cocoa farming and other programmes initiated by Gold Fields seriously as it would help them excel in future.

The Executive Secretary of the GFGF, Mr Abdel-Razak Yakubu, said 600 host community cocoa farmers of which 68.8% males and 31.2% females with a combined farm size of 480 hectares have so far benefitted from the programme.

According to him, each beneficiary farmer received support such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), mix blower, COCOBOD approved fertilizer and agrochemicals for three years before exiting the programme.

He said a survey conducted recently indicated that an average acre of cocoa farm, prior to the intervention of the GFGF yielded between 10 to 12 bags of cocoa annually.

“After three years of constant application of fertilizers, the same acres are giving the farmers more than 16 bags. An increase of more than 33%.

On average, the beneficiaries reported a 7% increase in their annual income”, Mr Yakubu revealed.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), Reverend Edwin Afari, also commended the GFGF for offering such wonderful assistance to cocoa farmers for the past five years, adding other Mining Companies should emulate this great idea.

The Regional Manager, Western South CHED, Mr Samuel Osei, explained that within five months his outfit received 2,247,000.00 bags of cocoa, out of which 347,000.00 bags came from Huni-Valley.

He entreated the farmers to continue to work hard to enable them increase what they obtained within this short period.

Nana Kofi Ngoro II, Chief of Amoanda and Mr Thomas Boakye, Municipal Chief farmer, expressed appreciation to the Foundation for their support.

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