Touton and partners (Cocobod, Forestry Commission, Touton, NCRC, Ago-Eco, SNV), under the auspices of 3PRCL and supported by P4F, held a consultative workshop with key cocoa and forest stakeholders on 20th February, 2018 at the Kofikrom/Proso Rural Services Center, Juabeso District in the Western Region of Ghana.
The workshop brought together key stakeholders within the Juabeso-Bia landscape (traditional leaders, government agencies, cocoa farmers, NGOs and private companies, project partners) to present the 3PRCL Project objectives and activities, discuss and exchange ideas on improving cocoa productivity, and cocoa-related deforestation and forest degradation.
Participants toured the Rural Service Center and were introduced to its facilities and range of services. Presentations were given by resource persons from Cocobod, Forestry Commission, Touton, NCRC, Ago-Eco, SNV and 3PRCL project secretariat.
There was an interactive mapping activity, during which traditional leaders, farmers and other cocoa and forest actors living and working in Bia and Juabeso landscape mapped out development interventions on a participatory three-dimensional map (P3DM).
Question and answer sessions, were scheduled in-between presentations. Traditional leaders showed a great deal of interest and asked most of the questions. Majority of the questions were directed to Forestry Commission (FC) and were based around the FC’s role in forest protection; reforestation; permit procedures and activities of chain-saw operators; tree ownership rights; and how FC could work together with traditional authorities. Other questions were on issues with Cocobod distribution of chemicals and agro-inputs, Touton’s coverage of non-PBC farmers and cocoa rehabilitation.
Participants discussed the presented issues and explored the opportunities to work together to address them. Traditional leaders present also affirmed the need for transparency and collaboration with Forestry Commission and Cocobod to build effective governance structures to develop a deforestation free cocoa value chain.