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COCOA FARMERS in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region have recorded an increase in their annual yields through the intervention of the Goldfields Damang Cocoa Input Support Scheme.
Goldfields Ghana Foundation, Damang Mine, in 2018 took a decision to assist the cocoa farmers in the area who could not afford the subsidised fertilisers and other inputs.
An average acre of cocoa farm, prior to the intervention of Goldfields Ghana Foundation yielded between 10 and 12 bags of cocoa beans annually.
However, after three years of constant application of the free fertilisers, the same acres are giving the farmers more than 16 bags, an increase of more than 33 per cent.
On average, the beneficiaries have reported a seven per cent increase in their annual income.
So far, about 480 farmers with a combined farm size of 960 acres have enjoyed support from the foundation.
General Manager of the Aboso Goldfields Limited, Michiel Van der Merwe, who disclosed this, noted that the first batch of 120 farmers from the nine host communities of the mine who were exiting the programme, were each supplied with two acres worth of fertilisers annually.
He said the increase in the income of the beneficiaries had better positioned them to afford the government subsidised fertilisers in the future.
He noted that the exiting of the first batch of the programme will make room for a new batch of 120 farmers to be enrolled this year for the next three years.
He indicated that each of the 360 farmers currently under the programme will receive two acres worth of other agro-chemicals in addition to the government approved fertilisers.
Municipal Chief Executive of Prestea-Huni Valley, Dr. Isaac Dasmani, thanked the Goldfields Ghana Foundation for its continued support and interventions geared towards improving the living standard of the people in the municipality.
He entreated the farmers to ensure that all inputs given to them by the government and Goldfields Ghana were applied on their farms to produce more cocoa and enough food for the market.
Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni Valley, Wisdom Cudjoe, advised the farmers to take the intervention serious and asked them not to sell the fertilisers given to them by the mining company.