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Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has debunked claims made by some cocoa farmers in the Ahafo Region that government interventions to boost the cocoa sector are not well felt in the area.

On the 20th August 2019, some cocoa farmers in the Ahafo Region complained that insecticides and fungicides to be given to them are not enough and it really affecting their farms. They also disclosed that the distribution of seedlings is based on protocol by DCEs, Politicians and other opinion leaders.

But the COCOBOD says it is rather unfortunate that some farmers in the region will make such statement knowing well that both the Government and COCOBOD have made items available to all cocoa farmers in the region.

The Deputy Manager, Cocoa Health and Extension Division (COCOBOD) for Bono and Ahafo Regions, Mr. Abdul Majif Mumuni, in an exclusive interview with the paper, said COCOBOD has supplied a lot of fertilizers (foliar and granular) to all farmers the region this year, after the mass pruning exercise which was executed in the early part of this year.

He added that per their checks those in-charge of the distribution of fertilizers to all cocoa areas which is on-going, are doing excellent job as compared to some years back.

Abdul Mumuni disclosed that each of all spraying gangs in the region have received 10 spraying machines (knapsack) to enable them spray fungicides attacking the farms and that new motorised machines have been also distributed to all gang areas to spray insecticides and fungicides.

According to him, all initiatives are enough to cover all cocoa farms in the area.

He said, almost all farmers in the region have experienced spraying of insecticides and fungicides twice so there is no cause of alarm.

He stated that mass cocoa spraying is on-going and a lot of chemicals to boost the cocoa sector in the region are distributed to the respective gang areas, farmer's co-operatives and farmer's associations to control pests and diseases.

Concerning the distribution of hybrid cocoa seedlings, Mumuni explained, the seedlings are only distributed to farmers who are ready to plant them.

He said investigations made by COCOBOD and other relevant departments had revealed some farmers collect the seedlings and sell them to other farmers ready to cultivate which act is unlawful. Aside this, some also collect the seedlings and just dump them somewhere which drain the sector.

He said, the cocoa seedlings are meant for all people ready to cultivate irrespective of party affiliation, position, gender and many more so it is untrue that the seedlings are supplied on protocol basis.

The Deputy COCOBOD Regional Manager mentioned that the government and COCOBOD have vowed to increase the number of seedlings in subsequent days ahead to ensure that the cocoa sector gets the needed boost.

Mr. Abdul Majid Mumuni, advised cocoa farmers to always confront extension officers in case of any challenges since they are there to ensure that cocoa farmers get the best from their occupation.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Date:Aug 29, 2019
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