Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, Networking and Advocacy Expert at Tropenbos Ghana, has stressed the need for active involvement and participation of cocoa farmers in the implementation of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative to achieve the desired results.
She said Farmer-based Organisations (FBOs) and members of Cocoa Cooperatives have critical roles to ensure the successful implementation of the Initiative, which is an action plan to halt deforestation and degradation of forest resources within the cocoa production and supply chain.
Mrs Asumang-Yeboah made the call at a day's sensitisation workshop for FBOs and members of Cocoa Cooperatives from some selected communities in the Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo, Bono East, Western and Western North regions.
The workshop was to create awareness among farmers on the Initiative and guide them on how they could position themselves in readiness to make meaningful contributions to ensure the success of the programme.
It was organised by Tropenbos Ghana under its Non-State Actors Project with funding from the European Union (EU).
Mrs Asumang-Yeboah, who took participants through the various commitments cocoa buying companies as well as government of Ghana have made in respect to the initiative, said the overall aim was to end deforestation, restore forest areas, create better lives for farmers and their communities, while helping to increase yields.
She said without the active participation of farmers, the objective of the Initiative would be elusive adding that, Tropenbos Ghana would extend the education and sensitisation programme to the hinterlands and all cocoa growing communities.
Mrs Asumang-Yeboah stressed the need to intensify public education on the Initiative to help secure the country's remaining forest resources.
Madam Leticia Yankey, who spoke on behalf of the participants, commended Tropenbos Ghana, for the education programme and appealed that it should be extended to cover more farmers in the country.