My name is Dominic and I am 47 years old. I come from Adansi Atobiase, located in the Ashanti region of Ghana and I am a cocoa farmer. I have owned my 4-acre cocoa farm for 12 years, during which I have received and planted 42 shade trees under the CFI initiative from Nestlé.
Although I have been a farmer for many years, joining the Nestlé Cocoa Plan supply chain has deepened my understanding of the role shade trees play in cocoa farming. Previously, my knowledge of trees was limited to desirable and non-desirable species, and the need to remove non-desirable trees from my farm. The training Nestlé has offered me, along with their field visits, has made me much more knowledgeable on the subject.
Along with the training provided, the Nestlé Cocoa Plan has distributed a number of desirable shade trees to be planted on cocoa farms such as mine. We were told that shade trees give life to our cocoa trees as they do to humans. I believe it now – the results are clear for all to see.
The shade trees have helped to reduce the harsh effects of the sun. The spaces filled by the trees have relatively high moisture during the dry season. Initially, I thought that the shade trees were a nuisance, but now I know that they protect the cocoa and land from the hot sun. I certainly recommend them to all cocoa farmers.