Capacity of 82 women cocoa farmers strengthened in major cocoa and forest sector initiatives

Capacity of 82 women cocoa farmers strengthened in major cocoa and forest sector initiatives

Ghana - 16 September, 2021

Ordinarily, engagements within the cocoa sector especially in the community have been male-dominated. However, women along the cocoa value chain, specifically women cocoa farmers are capable of enhancing climate-smart cocoa production and sustainability if given the right resources including access to real-time information and capacity development. Under the Green Livelihoods Alliance Programme II (GLA 2), Tropenbos Ghana strengthened the capacity of eighty-two (82) women from various cocoa co-operatives across eleven (11) Cocoa Districts in the Western North Region of Ghana.

The training held on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, empowered women in cocoa in major sector initiatives including the Ghana Cocoa - Forest REDD+ Programme ( GCFRP), Cocoa-Forest Initiative (CFI), and Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs). This will ultimately keep the women up to date with sector developments, understand the importance of these sector-related initiatives, identify and pursue their roles and responsibilities effectively. The workshop, which is also part of a series of activities to empower women in cocoa will help them identify key opportunities and how to strategically position themselves to benefit from these initiatives within the sector.

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The GLA 2 programme is a five-year project which is pursuing actions that put local communities in the Juaboso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes at the level of awareness, interest, and capacity that drives sustainable and climate-smart cocoa practices including an increase in tree cover on farms, and conservation of existing forests. To actualize these, there is a deliberate effort to promote inclusive governance in community set-ups that contribute to sustainable natural resource management and related decision-making processes. Women empowerment will enhance their knowledge in relevant issues to be able to make meaningful contributions at high-level cocoa and forest decision-making forums. Practically, the capacity of communities will also be strengthened in climate-smart farming practices. These, together with other Tropenbos Ghana actions under GLA 2 aims at halting deforestation that is driven by agro-commodity (cocoa, timber) production and sourcing while also creating sustainable and resilient livelihoods.

At the national level, the Government (Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources, COCOBOD, and Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission) will be lobbied to make their operations and policies supportive of this GLA 2 agenda. Private firms have a crucial role to play including creating gender-transformative cocoa actions that bring equitable opportunities for women in cocoa and support them in pursuit of climate-smart and sustainable cocoa production. These actions will help keep the private sector and women cocoa farmers in adherence to sustainable and climate-responsive practices.