Women farmers acquire skills in soap making, financial management

Women farmers acquire skills in soap making, financial management

Farmers in Adansi South, in the Ashanti Region, known for their production of rice, cassava, plantain, maize and vegetables, used to make little profit from their farms, due to little or no access to market opportunities.

To improve the farmers’ livelihoods, the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) programme through the Kokoo Pa Farmers Association has given the farmers a means to make a profit for themselves and their families.

Kokoo Pa Farmers Association (formerly known as AHANSUCOFA) was formed in 2009 by cocoa farmers from an initial 10 communities in the Ahafo Ano North and Ahafo Ano South districts.

It is supported by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) which is a partnership involving the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and other partners.

The women acquired new skills in soap making from cocoa waste materials such as the cocoa pod, and were trained also in financial management.

The beneficiaries, according to the association, are now able to “build a strong business in soap making while managing their finances through the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) method of saving their profit.”

The Association is membership-based with about 8,600 farmers, 5,676 men and 2,924 women in seven districts in the Ashanti (Adansi South district), Brong, Ahafo, and Western regions.

The association promotes cocoa beans production to meet member farmers’ livelihood needs.

The FFF programme supports the Kokoo Pa farmers association to promote women entrepreneurship and access to markets and finance, through training in different livelihood ventures of soap making, pastries, and the establishment of VSLA in three communities for financial inclusion.

Since November 2020, through the training given to the farmers, the farmers’ association using VSLA has improved the attitude of savings and financial management in their businesses. The association has helped farmers build skills in entrepreneurship.

The FFF programme led by FAO is a partnership launched in 2012 to improve rural farming, forestry, and farmers’ organisations through collective action.

By Spectator Reporter

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