Mr. Okoe was addressing the closing sessions of two separate training workshops for bee-keeping farmers at Nkoranza and Wenchi.
The workshops, grouped into two zones for 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).
The Zone One workshop held at Wenchi comprised members from Techiman and Kintampo, while that of Zone Two, held at Nkoranza consisted of farmers from Ejura and Atebubu-Amantin districts.
The common theme for the workshops was: “Integration of Beekeeping into Cashew Nut Farms”
Mr. Okoe said research had revealed that bees lived in great armies in Cashew Farms, thereby helping in pollination for the production of more cashew nuts.
The National President paid glowing tribute to 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 bee-keeping and cashew production in Brong-Ahafo and the country at large.
Mr. Okoe appealed to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other development partners to assist the National Bee-keepers Association in providing bee-hives to its members to enable them carry out with their activities.
Madam Stella Amoatemaa, Nkoranza Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) commended the leadership of the Association, particularly for their initiative in encouraging their members to grow cashew to boost their activities.
Madam Amoatemaa also praised the organizers of the workshop for coming out with a laudable economic venture to alleviate bee-keeping farmers from poverty, in their efforts to contribute towards the development of the country.
Dr. Kwame Aidoo, 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.
Dr Aidoo said the visit by researchers of the Department to some cashew farms at Kranka and Badu, both in Brong-Ahafo and in the Republic of Benin enabled them to come out with reasons for low cashew productivity in Ghana.
He advised cashew farmers to also keep birds such as fowls, turkeys and guinea-fowls, as well as animals like sheep, goat and snails on their farms, stressing the inclusion of the birds and animals on their farms increased their resources.
Madam Perpetual Akrobettoe, Nkoranza Municipal Acting Veterinary Officer, urged participants to return to their various communities and impart the knowledge acquired to other farmers to promote bee-keeping and cashew production.
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”, “Human and bee management on farms” among others