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Regional News of Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Source: Daily Guide

100 beekeepers trained

The National President of the Ghana Beekeepers Association (GBA), Richard Okoe, has advised members of the association to endeavour to go into cashew farming to improve their economic activities.

According to him, research has shown that bees live in great armies in cashew farms, thereby helping in pollination for the production of more cashew nuts.

Mr Okoe stated this when he was addressing separate closing ceremonies of a three-day training workshop for beekeeper farmers at Nkoranza and Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The two separate workshops, made up of 50 farmers from each zone, were organised by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast (UCC). It was under the theme: ‘Integration of Beekeeping Into Cashew Nut Farms’.

The Zone One workshop, held at Wenchi comprised of members from Techiman and Kintampo, while that of Zone Two, held at Nkoranza comprised of farmers from Ejura and Atebubu-Amantin districts.

Mr Okoe commended the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COVET) for funding the programme through the Skills Development Fund (SDF), adding, “COVET’s support had gone a long way to boost beekeeping and cashew production in Brong-Ahafo and the country at large.”

He, however, appealed to non-governmental organisations and other development partners to assist the association in providing beehives to its members to enable them to carry out with their activities effectively.

Dr Kwame Aidoo, a lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture, UCC, said the launch of the new agricultural project – bees as pollinators of cashew – was the result of researches conducted by the department.

He said a visit by researchers of the department at some cashew farms at Badu in the Tain District of the Brong-Ahafo Region and Kranka in Benin enabled them to come out with reasons for low cashew productivity in Ghana.

Dr Aidoo, therefore, advised cashew farmers to also keep birds like fowls, turkeys and guinea-fowls as well as animals like sheep, goats and snails in their farms, stressing that the inclusion of the birds and animals on their farms bring more resources to them.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Nkoranza, Stella Amoatemaa, commended the leadership of the association for their initiative in encouraging their members to grow cashew to boost their activities.

Participants were taken through topics such as bees as pollinators of cashew, creating natural habitats for beekeeping, avoiding pollination – unfriendly practices and enemies of the cashew tree, and human and bee management on farms.