Goshen Global Vision (GGV), a non-governmental organization operating under the United States Forest Service Agricultural project, has conducted training for selected cocoa farmers in beekeeping.
This initiative aims to provide farmers with an alternative source of livelihood during the lean cocoa season.
The participating farmers, drawn from the Cooperative Cocoa Farmers Union in Sekyere-Krobo, Akrofi, and Amankese Ase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region, were educated on trapping bees and proper honey production.
The comprehensive training, facilitated by Mr James Opoakpajor, an agroecology trainer, equipped farmers with the knowledge and skills required to engage in beekeeping as an alternative business.
The initiative is part of broader efforts to revive bee-keeping activities, which have been impacted by factors such as deforestation, galamsey (illegal mining), desertification, bushfires, and urbanization.
Mr Opoakpajor guided participants on carving wooden boxes as beehives and strategic placement to attract bees under favourable conditions.
He emphasized the financial benefits of bee-keeping, highlighting its potential to provide farmers with additional income during lean seasons.
Additionally, he underscored the health benefits of consuming honey produced by bees, especially for children, while cautioning consumers to ensure the honey they consume is prepared under hygienic conditions.
Madam Mary Perpetual Kwakuyi, Executive Director of GGV, explained that the bee-keeping training is part of a broader project called “You Are What You Eat: Eat Well.”
The NGO has been involved in various economic and livelihood intervention programs, including Village Savings and Loans, climate-smart vegetable farming, biochar training, establishment of tree and fruit nurseries, and training women and youth in fruit grafting in schools and homes.
As part of its commitment, GGV will provide the necessary tools and start-up kits to the farmers for their beekeeping projects.
Mr Thomas Danna Napari, a Cocoa Extension Agent of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, commended GGV for supporting cocoa farmers in diversifying their income through initiatives like beekeeping.