The Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) planted 1,500 trees to help government achieve the objective of Greening with trees nursed by Form Ghana. Shade-trees were supplied to 351 cocoa farmers, being members of the association.
The farmers also received training on planting techniques and maintenance of the seedlings to increase survival rates of the planted trees. Since 2009, CAA has run a shade-tree seedling distribution and training programme with its members. Up to date, over 242,000 shade-trees have been supplied to members of the association for planting on their farms.
On Green Ghana Day, the Association joined the other subsidiary companies of the corporate founder Africa Tiger Holding Limited to mark the day, by collaborating with cocoa farmers at Afosu and Ofoase-Ayirebi in the Eastern Region.
The objective of the tree-planting exercise was to support government’s agenda of greening Ghana, and also in memory of the late founder of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association, Mr. Henri Wientjes. Their support, they believe, will help ‘Green Ghana’ and preserve the ecosystem to aid the fight against negative effects of climate change.
Currently, the country’s forest cover stands at 1.6 million hectares from 8.2 million hectares witnessed in the 1900s.
Council Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA), Ismail Pomasi, said it’s important to restore the depleted forest cover, ravaged by negative human activities such as illegal mining and lumbering.
“We are supporting government’s agenda – wherein trees we are planting today are economic trees. We planted Mahogany, Emire, Mansonia Albizia and Otie trees. The rationale for this intervention is so that in planting the trees, we are also making an investment for our future children and our gallant cocoa farmers,” he said.
Mr. Pomasi also used the occasion to educate the community on the importance of planting trees, more importantly in their cocoa farms. “We also believe that if more efforts are made toward protecting the existing tree populations across the country, it will reinforce government’s idea of planting new trees and growing them,” he added.
Rebecca Ayisi Asiedu, Council Member, Cocoa Abrabopa Association and Regional Representative for Eastern Region, said it’s only collective efforts that can help us restore our degraded forests and reforest Ghana.
“Swift reforestation is critical. The goal of 5 million trees set by the government of Ghana is very necessary, so we must all do our part. There is no dispute that the woman farmer makes a vital contribution to the country’s economy; this is our time to help shape sustainable development in rural areas,” she said to her colleague farmers.
Operations Manager, Andrew Roland Obosu, and the Eastern Regional Manager for Cocoa Abrabopa Association, Ebenezer Agbozo, used the opportunity to thank farmers for the continuous support to policies and programmes that will help restore and conserve forests and water-bodies.
“As managers at Cocoa Abrabopa Association, we are committed to enabling cocoa farmers in marginalised communities to alleviate the effects of climate change. To achieve this, our projects will continue to incorporate sustainable and livelihood-enhancing practices,” they said.
In attendance also were the Technical Coordinator (Ofoase-Ayirebi Operational Area), Samuel Kofi Sarfo; Child Development Officer of Cocoa Abrabopa Association (Kade, Ofase-Ayirebi Operational Area), Daniel Feda; and some cocoa farmers in the Eastern Region took part in ‘Green Ghana Day’ exercise.