Whilst I’m embarking in the great endeavour that is growing cacao in Sierra Leone, I am acquiring knowledge from the experts in the field.
Last October, I met Professor Paul Hadley from the School of Agriculture Policy & Development, at the University of Reading. We discussed implementation of best practices in setting up a cocoa farm.
His wealth of knowledge in the field were invaluable and his words, very encouraging.
Back in Sierra Leone, I met Mr. Patrick Sawyer, Head of Agriculture at Njala University, Freetown. I visited his farm on site and was amazed with the success of method of his soil management and the positive effect it had on his crops which I found staggering.
I learnt that soil in tropical places like Sierra Leone loses its nutrient with sustained rainfalls. Mr Patrick Sawyer created a technique to retain the nutrients, an ingenious modus operandi I intend to use in my own farm.
In an agroforestry farm, trees or shrubs are grown around or amongst crops.
For cacao, it is a great way to provide partial shade to the cocoa tree and improve yield and sustainability.
Since it takes 3 to 5 years for a cocoa tree to reach maturity and become productive, I have decided to concurrently grow plantain and banana trees, pineapple and cassavas.
Once I have come to an agreement with the leaders of Borgbuagbu, I will start the process of seting up a cocoa nursery.
Meanwhile, I am gathering material to build the nusery infrastructure and communial buildings