cocoa trees


Ghana has reportedly destroyed 43,000 cocoa trees which were infected with Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus disease. The move was made proactively to avoid the disease from spreading further.  The action was taken in the central part of the country in a region called Bono, which is north of Kumasi.

Last week we reported on a speech made by Mr Aidoo, the General Manager for the country’s regulator, COCOBOD, in which he blamed poor productivity from the farmers on the disease, which he claimed affected 20% of the country’s trees.

The claim coincided with news that they had also raised a whopping $600m to deal with the problem. Bartalks remains skeptical that the majority of this money will be used for this purpose, however. While 43,000 trees is not a small number, it represents a small fraction of the total annual production.

At 800,000 tonnes per annum, Ghana is the second highest producer of Cocoa globally, behind Côte d’Ivoire.  43,000 trees, with a yield of 6kg a year per tree, should produce around 258,000kg or 258 tonnes of cocoa.

Nevertheless, the government should get credit for taking action to prevent a worse outbreak and has taken a more inclusive approach by including landholders and farmers in a compensation package that also sees them hiring workers to replant and renovate the land.

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