Farmers hint of decline in cocoa production
Cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region have appealed to government and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to reverse their decision to discontinue the free mass cocoa spraying exercise and save the industry from collapse.
According to the farmers, a reduction in the frequency of spraying exercise from six to two times a year on their farms, has adversely affected production due to black pod disease and pest infestations.
COCOBOD recently announced it has abrogated the free mass cocoa spraying exercise as a first step towards phasing out the programme entirely in three years.
The Ghana Agribusiness Report Fourth Quarter 2013, issued by the Business Monitor International, has projected a flat production from Ghana’s cocoa sector.
Although the report attributed the forecasted low cocoa production to ‘potential harvest delays, reduced farm revenues and structural concerns in the sector, particularly labour”, cocoa farmers in Ahafo Ano District in the Ashanti Region are also saying the discontinuation of the free mass cocoa spraying exercise will result in a drastic fall in cocoa production across the country.
Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor visited the district where cocoa farmers took him round some cocoa plantations.
The distressed farmers say the drop in cocoa yield due to black pod disease especially is a source of worry for them.
According to the farmers, even when they were spraying the farms six times a year, they could barely fight the pest infestations, emphasising the need to immediately reverse the decision to discontinue the spraying exercise.
The farmers say if they were to be spraying their farms without assistance they would be using all their revenues to fight the pest infestations.
The farmers are therefore appealing to government to rescind the decision to abrogate the free mass spraying exercise.
Leave a comment. 0 comment so far.