In April 2022, Lifeworks delivered a three-day training on behalf of Agriterra in Techiman, Ghana for representatives of five cocoa cooperatives that cover multiple regions across Ghana. Agriterra is an international specialist in cooperative development that works with cooperatives to create farmer-led businesses and improve extension services among their members.
Cooperative members learnt how to make organic microbial fertilisers, including 18-day compost, lactobacillus and fish hydrolysate serum. They also were trained in pest control and disease management practices.
Attending the training were youth members of the five cooperatives, the aim being to foster business opportunities and entrepreneurship among young people who are particularly under-represented in agriculture. The cooperatives trained were: Offinso Fine Flavour Coop, Asentenapa Cocoa Coop, New Edubiase Coop, Dadieso Coco Coop, Wassa East Cooperative Union, KooKooPa Union.
Following the Lifeworks training, all cooperatives have rolled out subsequent trainings in their communities and have established demonstration plots showcasing the effects of microbial fertilisers on soil and crop health and crop yields.
Agriterra is providing follow-up support for all cooperatives, delivering in-house capacity building, leadership and marketing training. By the end of 2023, all cooperatives should be cleared by the Crop Research Institute and Ghanaian Standards Authority for certification to scale up production of microbial fertilisers for commercial use, enabling improved market access and greater incomes for communities.