Cocoa is Ghana

Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Honourable Joseph Boahen Aidoo has called on staff of the Board to work extra hard to regain its past glory by ensuring that various COCOBOD interventions like Cocoa Farms Rehabilitation programme, Free Seedlings Distribution, Hand Pollination exercise and Cocoa Mass spraying among other Good Agronomic Practices (GAPs) are being implemented.

Honourable Aidoo made the call when he paid a working visit to some districts in the Central region on Thursday, 9th November, 2017. At Assin Fosu, he interacted with over 100 members of Assinman Young Cocoa Farmers who had joined staff of Cocoa Health and Extension Division and Quality Control Company, all subsidiaries of COCOBOD and touched on Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise, pruning and other interventions like Hand Pollination, Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise and also explained the rationale behind the fertilizer subsidy programme which aims at creating access to the farmers all year round and on the other hand prevent the smuggling of the fertilizers to neighbouring countries. He charged cocoa farmers to adopt Good Agronomic Practices and other mechanisms that will protect their farms and improve soil fertility.

He said the Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise will be continued in anticipation of ridding cocoa farms of pests and diseases affecting the crop, charging the District Cocoa Officers and Extension Agents to ensure that farmers apply the chemicals distributed for the exercise in the right quantities for better results.

He expressed worry about the international community’s complaint of the use of child labour in the cocoa sector and encouraged the farmers to avoid this. He cited the example of the employment of young energetic people with good eyesight to engage in the Hand Pollination exercise and at the same time to engage only those above the age of eighteen according to labour laws to make Ghana’s cocoa acceptable to the international community. He implored the farmers to also learn the hand pollination exercise and do it on their own.

Earlier he had visited at least six cocoa farms in the Twifo Paso and Assin areas to acquaint himself of the state of some cocoa farms and how the District Cocoa Officers and Community Extension Agents were working with farmers to bring about the expected improvement in their farming ventures.

Honourable Aidoo, said, the cocoa roads project will not be left unattended but the projects are being subjected to audit to ensure the right procedures for the contracts are in place to reduce losses. The projects that are uncompleted will be done to make transportation of the farmers and evacuation of cocoa beans easier.