Goshen Global Vision (GGV), a Non-Governmental Organisation under the United States Forest Service Agricultural project, has trained selected cocoa farmers in bee-keeping as an alternative source of livelihood during the lean cocoa season.
The farmers, drawn from Cooperative Cocoa Farmers Union from Sekyere-Krobo, Akrofi and Amankese Ase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region, were taken through a comprehensive process on how to properly trap bees and keep them for honey production.
The training sought to equip the farmers with the requisite knowledge and skills to venture into alternative businesses to enhance their socio-economic wellbeing during lean cocoa season.
It formed part of measures to revive bee-keeping activities in the natural habitats which is gradually becoming extinct in recent times due to depletion of the forest belt by human activities like galamsey, desertification, bush fires and urbanization among others.
Mr James Opoakpajor, An Agro-Ecology Trainer, who facilitated the workshop said the bee-keeping business was lucrative and could provide beneficiaries with adequate income during the lean seasons.
He taught them how to carve wooden boxes as beehives and where to strategically position them under a favourable temperature to attract the bees.
Aside from the financial benefits, he said honey produced by bees was also beneficial to human health, especially in children.
He, however, advised the citizenry to be cautious of the kind of honey they consumed since some were not prepared under hygienic conditions.
Madam Mary Perpetual Kwakuyi, Executive Director of GGV, said the training formed part of a broader project being implemented by the NGO dubbed: “You Are What You Eat: Eat Well”.
She outlined some of the major economic and livelihood intervention programmes rolled out by the GGV in collaboration with other partners, including the Village Savings and Loans, climate-smart vegetable farming, biochar training, tree and fruit nurseries establishment, and training of women and youth in fruit grafting in schools and homes among others.
She noted that her outfit would provide the farmers with the necessary tools as start-up kits for their beekeeping projects.
Mr Thomas Danna Napari, a Cocoa Extension Agent of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, lauded GGV for its efforts in helping cocoa farmers to get additional income through the bee-keeping initiative.