Cocoa

GHANA STRIVES TO BECOME WORLD LEADING COCOA PRODUCER

COCOBOD is making efforts to restore Ghana to her former glory of the leading producer of Cocoa in the world. In improving this objective, Ghana has intensified surveillance in all Cocoa growing areas in the country. Currently, Ghana is the second producer of Cocoa globally coming after La Cote D’Ivoire.

Dr.Emmanuel Agyemang-Dwomoh, Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD, made this forecast to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the tour of Cocoa farmers in the Samreboi District. He said as part of the move; they had embarked on rehabilitation of all Cocoa farms in the country.

Dr.Agyemang-Dwomah also stated that the Western South Region used to produce one-third of the total Cocoa production in the country. Still, now the Region was doing less regarding production.

He assigned the cause to the swollen shoot disease, which was devastating cocoa trees in the affected areas. Dr. Agyemang Dwomoh implied that currently, COCOBOD was securing a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to reconstruct the affected areas, and it had started the rehabilitation exercise in Western South and Eastern Regions.

Dr.Agyemang-Dwomoh also expressed regret that for some time now, the number of extension officers reduced. Dr.Emmanuel Nii Tackie-Otoo, The Executive Director, Cocoa Health, and Extension Division (CHED), at COCOBOD, also stated to the GNA that as part of the move, the organization also started so-called on the block and back to back treatment.

Under the modality, Dr.Emmanuel Nii Tackie-Otoo specified that farmers compensated depending on their farm size, and in many other cases, landowners are also compensated. He also said COCOBOD would make sure that all diseased cocoa trees are removed with chainsaw and arboricide are cut to the surface to kill the stumps.

He also explained that temporal shade crops such as plantain and other economic shade trees are planted and maintained for one year before hybrid seedlings are transplanted. Dr. Nii Tackie-Otoo said COCOBOD would keep the restored farms for two years before handing over the farms to the farmers.

He advised Cocoa farmers to withhold from using unapproved chemicals to fertilize their farms and adopt sound cultural practices to produce quality Cocoa to meet the international standards.Dr. Nii Tackie-Otoo stated that Ghana would continue to remain the number one on the world market in terms of best rules and appealed to cocoa farmers to maintain that excellent record.

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