CocoaSoils unveils training manual on soil fertility management
The CocoaSoils program unveiled a training manual on managing soil fertility to improve cocoa productivity and reduce deforestation at a Partnership for Delivery (P4D) committee meeting held in Kumasi on October 14.e, 2021 with the private and public sector partners of the program.
The manual was unveiled by Dr Amos Quaye, Research Scientist in the Soil Sciences Division of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG and the Director of Baseline Trials of the CocoaSoils Program in Ghana, with support from Janet Owusu-Asabre, Project Officer of the CocoaSoils Project and Glowen Kyei-Mensah of IDH and representatives of the private partners of the program.
Representatives of the private sector partners of the program were present at the unveiling ceremony: Kuapa Kokoo, Mondelez, Rockwinds, Barry Callebaut, Yara and Nestlé. The unveiling ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Ghana Cocoa Research Institute (CRIG), which is the focal research partner of the program in Ghana, from the Health and Extension Division. cocoa, COCOBOD, the Forestry Commission and the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.
The manual was developed with input from the private and public sector partners of the program taking into account the main capacity needs of cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.
The aim of the manual is to present the importance of nutrient supply through the application of fertilizers in cocoa plantations and the need to implement good agricultural practices to maximize cocoa yield and income and reduce deforestation.
It provides up-to-date recommendations on management operations throughout the year to increase cocoa productivity.
The manual has been developed to impart up-to-date knowledge and know-how and the skills necessary to foster communication between field agents and cocoa farmers.
It was designed to help field workers pass on the latest cocoa production knowledge to farmers in a language that ensures messages are understood.
The manual has been reviewed by the Partnership for Delivery (P4D) committees in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria to ensure that the content is relevant and that the language is not too scientific for Farmers.
Dr Amos Quaye, researcher at CRIG and director of baseline trials of the CocoaSoils program in Ghana said the manual was prepared as a tailor-made document to train field workers who manage CocoaSoils trial plots across Ghana. to ensure work in accordance with CocoaSoils program protocols.
“It is intended to be used by program partners, their field agents and their farmers to improve agricultural activities and therefore increase cocoa yield and income,” he added.
About the CocoaSoils program
The Norwegian-funded CocoaSoils program is a public-private consortium led by the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands. The Sustainable Trade Initiative (HDI) plays a unifying role in this program which brings together partners in an environment where knowledge and ideas are shared in a “pre-competitive” space. CocoaSoils was developed to address the problem of declining cocoa productivity to improve farmers’ livelihoods while avoiding deforestation. This five-year program is undertaken in collaboration with the national cocoa research institutes in Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, in collaboration with some private chocolate and fertilizer manufacturing companies through the world.
The program is built on two pillars. The first is the Research for Development component, R4D, which focuses on a deeper understanding of cocoa agronomy and nutrient management and on developing recommendations for integrated soil fertility management, GIFS .
The second pillar, Partnership for Delivery, P4D, aims to reach at least 90,000 cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria with the GIFS recommendation of the R4D component through the dissemination network of private sector partners like Olam, Kuapa Kokoo, Rockwinds, Cargill and Mondelez and national public sector support.
The partnership with private cocoa sector partners aims to identify and fill major gaps in the knowledge base needed to close cocoa yield gaps and transmit this knowledge to farmers through training of farmers by extension agents. private sector partners in the program.
The Delivery Partnership Committee (P4D) facilitates the dissemination of CocoaSoils Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) recommendations in Ghana to farmers by:
I. Provide advice and feedback on program implementation
ii. Validation of the recommendations of the research committee
iii. Promote the dissemination of these recommendations
In Ghana, the committee includes representatives from private sector partners such as Kuapa Kokoo, Olam, Cargill, Rockwinds, Yara, Nestlé and Mondelez. The other members of the committee include representatives of CRIG, the Forestry Commission, COCOBOD and CHED