Farmers participating in the Farmer Business School learned practical skills aimed at helping them to better manage their finances and diversify their livelihoods. Keeping better records of income and expenditure enabled the farmers to get a better insight into their finances and make better investments to grow their household income.
To assess the impact of the Farmer Business School and to better understand the farmers’ needs, we regularly monitor the individual farmers’ financial record books, while at the same time preserving their privacy and anonymity. To start with, we trained 180 farmers in the Nsokote and Bekwai cocoa producing districts. The aim, however, is to scale up this initiative so that by the end of 2019 a total of 500 farmers will be able to routinely track and monitor their income, savings and expenditures, including farm investments.
Interview with Kwame Hanson
Farmer Business School participant
Please introduce yourself
My name is Kwame Hanson, I am 42 years old and I am a cocoa farmer. I live in New Edubiase, Nsokote district with my wife and 7-year-old son.
Can you tell us something about your experience in cocoa?
My parents had a cocoa farm and growing up I always worked in the field. I became a purchasing clerk in 2015, then when I got offered the position of Community Facilitator I jumped at the chance as I experienced first-hand what it’s like to have to work on a farm as a child. I also have a 1.2 hectare cocoa farm myself and am part of the certification scheme and the Farmer Business School.
What are some of the things you learned during the Farmer Business School?
In the Farmer Business School, I learned that it is important to keep track of your ‘money in’ and ‘money out’, so you can see what you’re investing in and what it will give you in return. For the future, I want to continue to improve my farming business to make sure that the ‘money in’ increases. On top of that I will also expand my certified farmland.
The Farmer Business School programme was developed by the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of the Ghana Cocoa Board, a government-controlled institution whose mission focuses on facilitating the production, processing and marketing of premium quality cocoa across Ghana.