We believe it is better to improve the yield per hectare of farm than to create new farms, which would put even more pressure on the ecosystem. Moreover, there are many abandoned farms in Ghana that are ripe for redevelopment, which is a better alternative than using new land.
If a member wants to expand their farm, the first step is to contact a field officer, who will assess whether expansion is necessary. If it is approved, it must meet our standards, such as using a lining and pegging system and featuring the optimum amount of trees per acre (between 435 and 450), with shade trees being planted immediately. Only the best seedlings from the Seed Production Unit, part of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), are to be used.
Burning forest is strictly forbidden, and new farms can’t expand into forest reserves or border rivers. No farms on steep hills (over a 25% incline) will be taken into consideration in order to prevent erosion. In many cases, the soil will not be up to the standards required for cocoa farming either. The field officer will take all this into account when advising the farmer on the way forward.