Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by monica chan
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo announced the launch of the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme which aims to rehabilitate farms which have been affected by the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD).
Cacao swollen shoot virus disease (CSSVD) is a plant pathogenic virus of the family Caulimoviridae that primarily infects cacao trees. It decreases cacao yield within the first year of infection, and usually kills the tree within a few years.
The programme, which has already been successfully piloted in some of the worst CSSVD affected cocoa-growing areas is now being expended to all the cocoa-growing regions in the next phase of the programme. The government has allocated over USD $200 million of the USD $600 million syndicated loan facility it secured from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to the programme.
Under the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme, COCOBOD bears the full cost of the two-year-long rehabilitation process which involves the cutting of the diseased trees, treating the farms and replanting with disease-tolerant, early bearing, high yielding cocoa varieties. COCOBOD also gives GH₵1000.00 per hector to every farmer who has been affected by the disease. In the case of tenancy, both affected tenant farmers and their landowners are compensated.
In the next phase of the rehabilitation programme, approximately 20,000 hectors of diseased cocoa farms will be rehabilitated by the middle of next year.
The planting of early bearing, high yielding cocoa varieties during the rehabilitation process ensures that farmers will be able to harvest their beans for sale in a fraction of the time it typically takes the old cocoa trees. The rehabilitation programme will also greatly increase the national production capacity to meet the 1 million metric tonne production target.
More than 5000 jobs have already been created for the youth to provide labour and technical support in CSSVD affected cocoa communities in the pilot phase of the rehabilitation programme. Some, 50000 jobs will be created in the expended phase of the programme.
The President asked cocoa farmers to fully cooperate with the government to ensure that all disease farms are rehabilitated. He assured the farmers that each will be duly compensated for their loss of livelihood.