Farmers have been urged to patronise the Produce Buying Company (PBC) services of Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) for improved cocoa production.
Mr Yaw Agyei Sakyi, Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of PBC, gave the advice during the launch and opening of a farmers’ Inputs Shop on Wednesday in Sunyani which was attended by over 400 PBC farmers.
The Rural Service Centre, also called the ‘Akuafo Yiedie Fie’ (literally meaning farmers well-being house), would sell agricultural materials under the supervision of Wienco, a local agricultural organisation, not only at approved prices but also under the certification of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).
Mr Sakyi said the patronage of the CORIP would also bring about enhanced livelihood and community development of farmers.
He said in 2012, PBC/Touton collaboration rolled out a certification programme under which farmers benefited and continued to benefit from a number of training programmes to enhance their farming activities.
Mr Sakyi mentioned Good Agricultural Practices, Good Environmental Practices, Good Social Practices and Occupational Health & Safety Practices as some of the training held.
The certification paid premiums to 4,177 farmers in the Brong-Ahafo Region, with the aim of assisting farmers to improve on cocoa production to enhance their livelihoods.
He said because the certification programme was limited to few of the farmers, “Management of PBC/Touton Sustainability Project thought it better to bring another project which would cater for the needs of all farmers’ and others in a sustainable way.”
Mr Sakyi the CORIP facility would also provide professional training in Farming Business School to all farmers to adopt modern methods of farming.
“It would also assist farmers to rehabilitate over-aged farms for more cocoa and income, educate them on financial savings and investment with Mission Group International (MGI) Microfinance Limited, one of the partner agencies of CORIP,” he said.
CORIP, Mr Sakyi said, would also support farmers to adopt additional livelihood activities like vegetable production, animal rearing and other farming activities for sustainable incomes all-year-round.
Mr Prosper Hyacinth Ayimiah, Regional Co-ordinator of PBC/Touton Sustainability Project, mentioned International Fertilizer Development Centre, Tikola Ghana Limited, German International Development Co-operation, Wienco Ghana Limited, and Solidaridad West Africa among local and international agencies which had formed partnership with CORIP.