The Rainforest Alliance works with hundreds of thousands of smallholder cocoa farmers in 16 countries. Here,
Vida Tsatso Boaful, a cocoa farmer from Nkranfum, Ghana, shares her story.
My name is Vida Tsatso Boaful, and I am a cocoa farmer at Nkranfum, a community in the Assin North Municipality in Ghana. I am part of the Rainforest Alliance certification program because I want to be trained in improved and efficient ways of cultivating cocoa, so as to let my cocoa trees last longer, increase my yield, get some premium on the sale of my beans and also conserve and protect existing forests and waterways in and around my farm.
I have now realized there were so many things we used to think and do that were normal practices from time immemorial, and we just did not think that some of these practices were negatively affecting our lives, the soil, bodies of water and our environment.
Since I started practicing what I had been taught during the training sessions, my yield in cocoa production keeps improving and has increased from about three bags per acre to about 10 bags per acre. Most women in the program would testify to that fact. Our children are also now happily in school.
I used to feel intimidated amongst my fellow farmers but after some time in this program that inferiority complex has vanished to the extent that I can even speak boldly in the presence of the men. I think other women in other cocoa farming communities can do the same, or even better, when trained.