One of the many cooperatives in Central Ghana’s Ashanti region is the Kookoo Pa Farmers Association. The organization originated with a Dutch NGO Solidaridad program, which trained 352 farmers in sustainable production methods using the Utz standards. In 2009, the farmers decided to create an independent organization to defend their interests better. Today, approximately 8600 farmers are members. The organization focuses on expanding service delivery to its members through access to nursery plants, model farms, and training. Alongside cocoa, alternative crops such as cassava and cooking banana are also promoted.
The TDC-funded project (65,998.63 euros – From November 2016 to November 2017) involved 2000 new farmers from 40 villages in a program that targets Utz certification. Meanwhile, every village has its local committee elected and a community-level facilitator (CLF). These CFLs got technical training about sustainable production techniques and how to obtain certification. In turn, they trained their fellow villagers. Later, training for spray service providers, who are made accountable for using safe pesticides, was organized. Women’s membership is an important matter. There are almost 3,000 women members, more than one-third of the total membership. Meanwhile, as part of the new project, 30 out of 40 villages have women’s groups. They embody the gender program, aiming to raise awareness among women about their rights and opportunities.