PHONE: +233 302 966999, +233 264 277795, EMAIL-info@conservealliance.com

Akontonbra Crema Workshop

  • Home / Workshop / Akontonbra Crema Workshop
Akontonbra Crema Workshop

Akontonbra Crema Workshop

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Prevalent financial hardships that spring up during the months of ‘no cocoa’, serves as an incentive for over exploitation of natural resources to satisfy the sustenance needs of communities. Although Cocoa farming provides some income for most households in the Akontombraman CREMA, there is the need for additional support to address the low income levels of persons in the CREMA. It is against this background that the Enhancing Natural Forests and Agro-forest Landscape (ENFAL) Project seeks to support the Akontombraman CREMA with sustainable additional livelihoods to increase household incomes and reduce over exploitation of resources in the CREMA.

It is therefore, relevant that adequate consultations be made with the potential beneficiaries of the livelihood support scheme to create awareness of this activity and also solicit their views on which ventures will be appropriate for them. For this reason, a two-day consultative meeting was held with the CREMA leadership after they had met and interacted with their various communities to obtain information on which livelihood ventures will be well suited for them.

This report provides an account of the deliberations and decisions made at the two-day workshop.

 

1.1 Workshop Objective

To identify the suitable additional livelihood ventures preferred by communities in the Akontombraman CREMA.

 

1.2 Methodology

The success of the additional livelihood support scheme depends on the ownership and buy-in from the local communities in the CREMA. To ensure that the suggestions obtained from the workshop is representative of the views and opinions of the entire CREMA, the following method was used;

  1. Community meetings with the various CRMCs. The CREMA leadership before attending the workshop, held community meetings with the chiefs and people in their respective communities to solicit their collective views on which livelihood venture will be suitable for them. The suggestions by the communities are clearly outlined in the body of this report.
  2. Plenary discussions were used to sensitize the CREMA leadership on the objective for the Additional Livelihood Support Scheme of the ENFAL project. This method was also used to engage the community representatives in ranking the first five preferred livelihood options for the entire CREMA.
  3. Group work was also the method for engaging the CREMA leaders to list the suggestions of their respective communities.

2.0 DETAILS OF THE CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP

The two-day workshop for the Akontombraman CREMA was held on 15th and 16th November, 2018 at the Christ Apostolic Church Auditorium in Akontombra. The workshop was attended by 78 persons comprised of 53 males and 25 females from the five Community Resource Management Committees (CRMCs) of the CREMA. The workshop was facilitated by Henrietta Asiedu, Elliot Steven Mensah and Abigail Frimpong of Conservation Alliance.

Workshop protocols including an opening prayer and introduction of facilitators and participants was duly carried out. Henrietta Asiedu briefed participants on the purpose of the workshop which was to engage the CREMA on their preferred livelihood ventures to inform the planning and implementation of the Additional Livelihood Development Scheme by the Ghana Forest Investment Program (GFIP).

2.1 Issues discussed at the workshop

2.1.1 Community meetings prior to the workshop

To ensure that decisions of the workshop are reflective of the views of the larger CREMA, the CRMC leadership were tasked to engage their constituent communities to receive suggestion on the livelihood options they prefer. All five CRMCs confirmed that they had held their respective meetings with their constituent communities thus responses are entirely the views of the communities they represent.

2.1.2 Economic activities of communities in the dry season

The facilitator inquired of the livelihood activities communities engage in during the dry season where there is no cocoa. The participants shared that a small section of their communities engage in maize, rice and vegetable farming while the larger section does virtually nothing. This results in prevalent poverty and further lead to illegal exploitation of forest and wildlife resources.

2.1.3 Information on previous livelihood interventions in the CREMA

There were also discussions on previous and current livelihood activities within the CREMA. The participants mentioned that the Juaboso District Assembly had in the past supported some communities with rice farming and soap making skills and start-ups. The livelihood activities were however, challenged with lack of markets for the rice and raw materials for the soap. These challenges left the livelihood ventures unsuccessful. There were also some support in livestock rearing but due to lack of veterinary services and supervision this venture was also largely unsuccessful.

2.1.4 Suggested livelihood options from the various CRMCs

The participants were grouped into the various CRMCs to write down the suggestions of their communities on their selected livelihood options. The groups made presentations on their selections after the group work and Table 1.0 presents the livelihood choices of all five CRMCs in the CREMA.

2.1.5 Preferred livelihood options for the Akontombraman CREMA

The participants were further engaged to rank the first five most preferred livelihood ventures and the list generated include the following;

  1. Bee keeping
  2. Soap making
  3. Vegetable farming (Pepper)
  4. Rice farming
  5. Snail farming

The participants provided some reasons for selecting each of the options listed and these reasons include;

Bee keeping was selected as the first of the five preferred livelihoods since it is considered an easy-to-do venture. Bee keeping does not require much time and financial resources to undertake and thus described as highly lucrative by the locals. Again, honey has a huge market locally and also has a high economic value- it is a priced product. Bees are considered an effective deterrent against elephants hence, farms that has bees will be protected against elephant crop raids. The bees also support pollination of farm crops and can increase the farm’s productivity. Finally, honey is food which also has medicinal properties useful for every home.

 

 

Soap making was ranked second as soap is a daily household commodity which can also bring in some income when produced on a large scale. Both local and scented soaps have a local market in the CREMA. Also the soap making can be easily expanded into an entrepreneurial venture by most youth in the CREMA and this could help increase household incomes.

Vegetable farming was placed third since most women engage in this activity during the dry season. However, postharvest losses and weak local markets make it difficult for most women to expand this livelihood activity. Hence, an opportunity to learn more about how to make vegetable farming especially pepper farming more sustainable is highly welcomed by the CREMA communities.

Rice farming was named the fourth most preferred livelihood option. This is because rice is a staple for most households in and around the CREMA. Most families already engage in rice farming however, their limited knowledge in modern rice farming practices leave this livelihood activity on the subsistence level. An opportunity for the communities to expand their knowledge on how to commercialise rice farming in the dry season will go a long way to reduce financial hardships in the dry season. Again, the provision of adequate logistics including rice mills in the CREMA will serve as a great incentive for communities to engage in rice farming and reduce poverty in the CREMA.

Snail farming was considered the fifth livelihood option on the basis that snail is a delicacy for most of the communities in the CREMA. Snail hunting also contribute significantly to unauthorised entries into protected areas in the CREMA. Therefore, when communities have easy access to snails, it will reduce resource exploitation in the CREMA. Snails are also a priced commodity thus beneficiaries can generate some income to support their families in the dry season.

2.1.6 Suggestions on selection criteria of beneficiaries of the scheme

The participants shared their thoughts on the key selection criteria for beneficiaries of the scheme for consideration and these included;

  1. Core CREMA members in good standing as described in the Akontombraman CREMA Constitution (Registered, paid dues, attend meetings, etc.) should be the main beneficiaries of the additional livelihood support.
  2. Beneficiaries should be persons without partisan labels.
  3. Interested persons who are also honest, hardworking and committed to making the livelihood scheme successful.
  4. Persons with integrity and non-drunkards.

 

They finally, advised that the implementers of the livelihood scheme should be patient with the communities and also continually monitor and provide beneficiaries with the necessary logistics and technical support for success.

 

 

 

 

3.0 LESSONS LEARNT

Key lessons learnt through the consultative workshop and other community engagements in relation to the additional livelihoods include;

  1. There are several additional livelihood ventures that communities can choose from however, ventures that require much time and additional resource investments from the beneficiaries may not achieve the expected results. This is because the communities expect to have livelihoods that take little time and financial investments yet gives good returns.

 

  1. The success of the livelihood scheme will depend largely on an efficient system of monitoring and continual provision of guidance and technical support. Lack of such a system will leave the scheme to run as business as usual and the objectives of the support scheme may not be achieved.

4.0 CONCLUSION

The additional livelihood support scheme has a huge potential to motivate communities to support the objects of the CREMA initiative in the Akontombraman CREMA. There is therefore, the need to ensure that the support scheme operates in a transparent and revolving manner so as to get more persons to benefit and serve as an incentive for sustainable resource use in the CREMA.

5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on interactions held so far, the following recommendations are made for consideration;

  1. The scheme managers should ensure that appropriate documentation and records are kept by both the scheme and the beneficiary to ensure that progress can be easily measured.
  2. There should be an accountability strategy that periodically brief the CREMA on the state of the livelihood scheme to enable non-beneficiaries be aware of the scheme.
  3. There is the need for an effective monitoring system where follow-ups on the beneficiaries would be made to keep them responsible and help achieve the needed success.
  4. The service contracts of Conservation Alliance (CA) should be extended to help sensitize communities on the critical role they play in the success of the livelihood support scheme as well as provide monitoring and supervision support.

6.0 NEXT STEPS

  1. Facilitate the implementation of the Additional Livelihood Support Scheme in the Akontombraman CREMA.
  2. Development and implementation of a periodic monitoring of the activities of beneficiaries of the scheme.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Prevalent financial hardships that spring up during the months of ‘no cocoa’, serves as an incentive for over exploitation of natural resources to satisfy the sustenance needs of communities. Although Cocoa farming provides some income for most households in the Akontombraman CREMA, there is the need for additional support to address the low income levels of persons in the CREMA. It is against this background that the Enhancing Natural Forests and Agro-forest Landscape (ENFAL) Project seeks to support the Akontombraman CREMA with sustainable additional livelihoods to increase household incomes and reduce over exploitation of resources in the CREMA.

It is therefore, relevant that adequate consultations be made with the potential beneficiaries of the livelihood support scheme to create awareness of this activity and also solicit their views on which ventures will be appropriate for them. For this reason, a two-day consultative meeting was held with the CREMA leadership after they had met and interacted with their various communities to obtain information on which livelihood ventures will be well suited for them.

This report provides an account of the deliberations and decisions made at the two-day workshop.

 

1.1 Workshop Objective

To identify the suitable additional livelihood ventures preferred by communities in the Akontombraman CREMA.

 

1.2 Methodology

The success of the additional livelihood support scheme depends on the ownership and buy-in from the local communities in the CREMA. To ensure that the suggestions obtained from the workshop is representative of the views and opinions of the entire CREMA, the following method was used;

  1. Community meetings with the various CRMCs. The CREMA leadership before attending the workshop, held community meetings with the chiefs and people in their respective communities to solicit their collective views on which livelihood venture will be suitable for them. The suggestions by the communities are clearly outlined in the body of this report.
  2. Plenary discussions were used to sensitize the CREMA leadership on the objective for the Additional Livelihood Support Scheme of the ENFAL project. This method was also used to engage the community representatives in ranking the first five preferred livelihood options for the entire CREMA.
  3. Group work was also the method for engaging the CREMA leaders to list the suggestions of their respective communities.

 

 

2.0 DETAILS OF THE CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP

The two-day workshop for the Akontombraman CREMA was held on 15th and 16th November, 2018 at the Christ Apostolic Church Auditorium in Akontombra. The workshop was attended by 78 persons comprised of 53 males and 25 females from the five Community Resource Management Committees (CRMCs) of the CREMA. The workshop was facilitated by Henrietta Asiedu, Elliot Steven Mensah and Abigail Frimpong of Conservation Alliance.

Workshop protocols including an opening prayer and introduction of facilitators and participants was duly carried out. Henrietta Asiedu briefed participants on the purpose of the workshop which was to engage the CREMA on their preferred livelihood ventures to inform the planning and implementation of the Additional Livelihood Development Scheme by the Ghana Forest Investment Program (GFIP).

2.1 Issues discussed at the workshop

2.1.1 Community meetings prior to the workshop

To ensure that decisions of the workshop are reflective of the views of the larger CREMA, the CRMC leadership were tasked to engage their constituent communities to receive suggestion on the livelihood options they prefer. All five CRMCs confirmed that they had held their respective meetings with their constituent communities thus responses are entirely the views of the communities they represent.

2.1.2 Economic activities of communities in the dry season

The facilitator inquired of the livelihood activities communities engage in during the dry season where there is no cocoa. The participants shared that a small section of their communities engage in maize, rice and vegetable farming while the larger section does virtually nothing. This results in prevalent poverty and further lead to illegal exploitation of forest and wildlife resources.

2.1.3 Information on previous livelihood interventions in the CREMA

There were also discussions on previous and current livelihood activities within the CREMA. The participants mentioned that the Juaboso District Assembly had in the past supported some communities with rice farming and soap making skills and start-ups. The livelihood activities were however, challenged with lack of markets for the rice and raw materials for the soap. These challenges left the livelihood ventures unsuccessful. There were also some support in livestock rearing but due to lack of veterinary services and supervision this venture was also largely unsuccessful.

2.1.4 Suggested livelihood options from the various CRMCs

The participants were grouped into the various CRMCs to write down the suggestions of their communities on their selected livelihood options. The groups made presentations on their selections after the group work and Table 1.0 presents the livelihood choices of all five CRMCs in the CREMA.

 

 

 

 

2.1.5 Preferred livelihood options for the Akontombraman CREMA

The participants were further engaged to rank the first five most preferred livelihood ventures and the list generated include the following;

  1. Bee keeping
  2. Soap making
  3. Vegetable farming (Pepper)
  4. Rice farming
  5. Snail farming

The participants provided some reasons for selecting each of the options listed and these reasons include;

Bee keeping was selected as the first of the five preferred livelihoods since it is considered an easy-to-do venture. Bee keeping does not require much time and financial resources to undertake and thus described as highly lucrative by the locals. Again, honey has a huge market locally and also has a high economic value- it is a priced product. Bees are considered an effective deterrent against elephants hence, farms that has bees will be protected against elephant crop raids. The bees also support pollination of farm crops and can increase the farm’s productivity. Finally, honey is food which also has medicinal properties useful for every home.

 

 

Soap making was ranked second as soap is a daily household commodity which can also bring in some income when produced on a large scale. Both local and scented soaps have a local market in the CREMA. Also the soap making can be easily expanded into an entrepreneurial venture by most youth in the CREMA and this could help increase household incomes.

Vegetable farming was placed third since most women engage in this activity during the dry season. However, postharvest losses and weak local markets make it difficult for most women to expand this livelihood activity. Hence, an opportunity to learn more about how to make vegetable farming especially pepper farming more sustainable is highly welcomed by the CREMA communities.

Rice farming was named the fourth most preferred livelihood option. This is because rice is a staple for most households in and around the CREMA. Most families already engage in rice farming however, their limited knowledge in modern rice farming practices leave this livelihood activity on the subsistence level. An opportunity for the communities to expand their knowledge on how to commercialise rice farming in the dry season will go a long way to reduce financial hardships in the dry season. Again, the provision of adequate logistics including rice mills in the CREMA will serve as a great incentive for communities to engage in rice farming and reduce poverty in the CREMA.

Snail farming was considered the fifth livelihood option on the basis that snail is a delicacy for most of the communities in the CREMA. Snail hunting also contribute significantly to unauthorised entries into protected areas in the CREMA. Therefore, when communities have easy access to snails, it will reduce resource exploitation in the CREMA. Snails are also a priced commodity thus beneficiaries can generate some income to support their families in the dry season.

2.1.6 Suggestions on selection criteria of beneficiaries of the scheme

The participants shared their thoughts on the key selection criteria for beneficiaries of the scheme for consideration and these included;

  1. Core CREMA members in good standing as described in the Akontombraman CREMA Constitution (Registered, paid dues, attend meetings, etc.) should be the main beneficiaries of the additional livelihood support.
  2. Beneficiaries should be persons without partisan labels.
  3. Interested persons who are also honest, hardworking and committed to making the livelihood scheme successful.
  4. Persons with integrity and non-drunkards.

 

They finally, advised that the implementers of the livelihood scheme should be patient with the communities and also continually monitor and provide beneficiaries with the necessary logistics and technical support for success.

3.0 LESSONS LEARNT

Key lessons learnt through the consultative workshop and other community engagements in relation to the additional livelihoods include;

  1. There are several additional livelihood ventures that communities can choose from however, ventures that require much time and additional resource investments from the beneficiaries may not achieve the expected results. This is because the communities expect to have livelihoods that take little time and financial investments yet gives good returns.
  2. The success of the livelihood scheme will depend largely on an efficient system of monitoring and continual provision of guidance and technical support. Lack of such a system will leave the scheme to run as business as usual and the objectives of the support scheme may not be achieved.

4.0 CONCLUSION

The additional livelihood support scheme has a huge potential to motivate communities to support the objects of the CREMA initiative in the Akontombraman CREMA. There is therefore, the need to ensure that the support scheme operates in a transparent and revolving manner so as to get more persons to benefit and serve as an incentive for sustainable resource use in the CREMA.

5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on interactions held so far, the following recommendations are made for consideration;

  1. The scheme managers should ensure that appropriate documentation and records are kept by both the scheme and the beneficiary to ensure that progress can be easily measured.
  2. There should be an accountability strategy that periodically brief the CREMA on the state of the livelihood scheme to enable non-beneficiaries be aware of the scheme.
  3. There is the need for an effective monitoring system where follow-ups on the beneficiaries would be made to keep them responsible and help achieve the needed success.
  4. The service contracts of Conservation Alliance (CA) should be extended to help sensitize communities on the critical role they play in the success of the livelihood support scheme as well as provide monitoring and supervision support.

6.0 NEXT STEPS

  1. Facilitate the implementation of the Additional Livelihood Support Scheme in the Akontombraman CREMA.
  2. Development and implementation of a periodic monitoring of the activities of beneficiaries of the scheme.