Nana Karikari Addo, Managing Director of the Quality Control Company of COCOBOD, has asked cocoa farmers to make maximum use of extension officers and always seek technical advice in the use and application of chemicals in their farms.
This, according to him, would help maintain the quality of the country’s cocoa beans and strengthen its position as the premium supplier of cocoa on the international market.
Speaking at a farmers’ rally at Poano in the Bekwai Cocoa District, Mr. Addo said COCOBOD was implementing several initiatives to support cocoa farmers to increase yield and improve their incomes.
He said processes had begun to register all cocoa farmers in the country to obtain accurate information on all farmers to aid policy development and implementation.
The registration would also enable COCOBOD effectively monitor cocoa farms, help in the distribution of inputs and other welfare services to all farmers while ensuring that quality beans were produced at all times.
The rally was organized by the Quality Control Company to educate cocoa farmers on various agronomical practices to help improve yield and quality of cocoa produced in the country.
Nana Addo said the registered cocoa farmers would be given cards that would enable them to purchase fertilizer and other farm inputs easily.
He said the government was cutting down all disease-infested cocoa trees free of charge and both landowners and cocoa farmers would be duly compensated.
The Managing Director said government introduced modern farm equipment to reduce drudgery in cocoa farming, and electronic scale to ensure accurate measurement of cocoa beans to reduce cheating by purchasing clerks.
He advised the farmers to join cooperative unions to enable them to benefit from the various initiatives being introduced by the government.
Mr. Kwadwo Danso, Ashanti Regional Manager of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), said personnel was currently undergoing training to begin the registration exercise.
Mr. Julius Martinson, Ashanti Regional Manager of the Quality Control Company, said the welfare and progress of farmers were the priority of COCOBOD adding that cocoa production enhancement programs were going to be intensified to increase yield and incomes.
The farmers called for the rehabilitation of roads in cocoa growing communities to ease the suffering of cocoa farmers, while at the same time, increasing the number of extension officers posted to their communities.