A forty-million dollar project to assist cocoa farmers has been launched in Accra. The project which is being jointly undertaken by the World Cocoa Foundation and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to improve the incomes of cocoa farmers.
The Cocoa Livelihoods Programme (CLP) as it is christened, which will end in 2014, will benefit about 60,000 farmers in 21 districts in Ashanti, Eastern, Brong-Ahafo, and Central Regions.
Besides training the beneficiary farmers in better production techniques, quality improvement and business skills, the programme will also improve farmers’ access to agricultural inputs, better quality seedlings, market information and opportunities for diversification to maximize their income and economic security.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 11 private chocolate companies, CLP is being replicated in Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Nigeria as well as in Latin American and South East Asia.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Fiifi Kwetey, who launched the programme yesterday said it had come at a time when the COCOBOD had been tasked to review its medium to long term strategies to enable the country to hit the target of producing ne million tonnes of cocoa by 2012. He also said the CLP was in line with government policy to modernize agriculture to offer opportunity for growth and poverty reduction.
Mr Kwetey noted that the project would significantly improve the livelihoods of farmers with the improvement of their incomes. He asked the COCOBOD to remain focused in their coordinating roles to avoid the duplication of the projects.
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