The introduction of additional livelihood to women cocoa farmers in parts of Ashanti and Bono regions has come as a relief to them in the face of devastating impact of climate change to farming activities.
The opportunities in soap making, snail farming, and vegetable farming were created for the women to spur the development of commercial activities around post-harvest practice.
As a seasonal crop, most women cocoa farmers find it difficult to access finances for their upkeep and that of their family months after the cocoa is harvested.
Additionally, a great deal of these women suffer from the lethal impact of climate change by continuously recording low yields.
“Our yields keep declining due to climate change, so we don’t get enough money from the cocoa these days”, a cocoa farmer from Aponaponso in the Ashanti region, Ama Dwebi noted.
These women contribute half of the labor associated with the production of the commodity, yet they control paltry incomes from the trade.
Under the second phase of the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP II), implemented by Solidaridad, women cocoa farmers were provided with the opportunity to earn additional incomes to improve their livelihoods.
“When the harvesting period is over, we focus on soap making. We now see money every day. We no more have to wait for the cocoa season before getting money to cater for our needs”, Agnes Pokuaa from Odumasi in the Bono region stated.
Ama Dwebi and some of her colleagues have embraced cabbage, pepper, and garden eggs farming to supplement their income from the cocoa farming.
“This has come as a relief to us because climate change has hit us hard. At least with the vegetable, we are assured of recouping our investments in three months after harvesting”.
An extension officer at the Bono office of Cocobod, Hafisatu Salisu said the intervention is to support farmers earn more income.
This has brought comfort to the thousands of beneficiary farmers in the Ashanti and Bono regions.
By Ibrahim Abubakar