Timeabu is a cocoa farming community in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly of the Ashanti region that was bedevilled by the impact of climate change which affected their production.
Until the intervention of the Centre for Climate Change and Food Security (CCCFS), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), farmers in the community had not encountered the services of extension officers.
In the absence of the extension officers, the farmers had cultivated the habit of cutting down trees in their cocoa farms oblivious of the benefits of trees in cocoa farms.
The Ghana-based NGO has adopted the community to help mitigate the impact of climate change on the farming community.
As the first step, it brought extension officers responsible for cocoa farmers in the district to the community in one of its community engagement programs.
Cocoa Extension Service Officer, Abednego Asante, advised the farmers against the continuous cutting of the trees.
“We will be regular here and I believe they will increase their production”, he said.
Also part of the engagement was the Senior Research Officer at Ghana Cocobod, Fuad Mohammed, who introduced the farmers to government’s ‘Tree on Farm’ initiative meant to address the impact of climate change on agriculture.
“Keeping trees on farms are very critical for the perfect growth of cocoa crops and that practice must be stopped. I am happy we came here.”
The ‘’Tree on Farm’’ initiative is a five-year project started in 2015 to plant about 30 million trees.
Seventy-year-old Mohammed Ali indicates, “Some of the trees can’t grow properly when the cocoa trees are beneath them, I have plans to cut those on my farm”.
“First we had a lot of trees on our farms, timber operators cut down the trees on our farm, so for me, I cut them myself”, another worried farmer explained.
Since December 2017, the organisation has planted almost 400 trees on cocoa farms and other areas of the community, in addition to sensitisation of best farming practises.
A beneficiary, Nana Dasebere Boama Darko, said the farmers are excited the trees will relieve them of severe weather condition and provide the needed shade to nourish their crops.
“Protecting the ecology is very important. Planting trees helps remove carbon dioxide from the air, which cools the earth,” Executive Director of CCCFS, Mahmud Mohammed-Nurudeen said.
Meanwhile, in 2016, CCCFS started “Climate Talk Program” for tertiary institutions at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for students of the Renewable and Natural Resource Department.
Climate activists from the group and professors of the university encouraged the students on the need to be champions of climate change and protect their environment.
In 2017, CCCFS partnered with the Student Representative Council of the University College of Management Studies (UCOMS) in Kumasi, to continue the “Climate Talk series”.
Later in the year, the program was extended to senior high schools in the Ashanti region. Kumasi Anglican, and Azariyya Islamic Senior High Schools, both benefited from the talks.
It is purposely to sensitize students and encourage them to take environmental issues seriously.
The centre plans to extend these exercises to other communities across the country.
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